Health and Disability Initiative

The Health and Disability Initiative was an informal collaborative effort to encourage individuals and groups in Wisconsin to work together to document the health status of individuals with disabilities, and to advance effective and efficient policies and programs to maintain or improve the health of those with disabilities.

The initiative was begun in Wisconsin in the fall of 2002, following a series of national discussions that had taken place over the previous year to bring attention to the fact that individuals with developmental disabilities were experiencing less access to routine and specialized health care, and consequently higher incidences of illness and disease. Most notably these efforts included national listening session on health disparities, Surgeon General conferences on health disparities, creation of a Division of Human Development and Disability within the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a Wisconsin conference on Health Disparities and Developmental Disabilities that led to creation of The Wisconsin Blueprint to Improve the Health of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, and a Wisconsin Health and Disability Data discussion.