Health and Wellness

Health—physical, mental and emotional—is a key ingredient to living well. People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by poorer overall health due to barriers to health care and increased rates of chronic diseases. Furthermore, they often experience secondary conditions such as pain, fatigue, weakness and depression. Many of these conditions can be prevented or alleviated with lifestyle modifications and preventive care.

People with disabilities are more likely to experience the following risk factors compared to people without disabilities:

  • Experience difficulties or delays in getting the health care they need.
  • Not have had an annual dental visit.
  • Not have had a mammogram in past two years.
  • Not have had a Pap test within the past three years.
  • Not engage in fitness activities.
  • Use tobacco.
  • Be overweight or obese.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Experience symptoms of psychological distress.
  • Receive less social-emotional support.
  • Have lower employment rates.
    (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


Access to quality, affordable health care is of highest importance to individuals with disabilities and their families. Navigating the changing health care system can be challenging.

UCP is a voice for individuals with disabilities, their families, and providers in the debate to ensure quality and affordable access to care. UCP will continue to help shape the health policy debate and inform individuals of how to get and stay involved.

Other Helpful Resources

CDC’s Disability and Health Resources
This web site provides resources for people with disabilities to stay well, be active, and be a part of the community.

Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness for People with Disabilities
This report describes the particular challenges to health and well­being faced by persons of all ages with disabilities and emphasizes that  health and wellness is a key component to equal opportunity, workforce engagement and full access into daily community life for people with disabilities.

Disability and Health in the United States Chartbook
Examines health-related differences between disabled and non-disabled non-institutionalized adults aged 18 years and over including education, income, and employment, health status, health risk factors, access to care and clinical preventive services.

Student Health and Wellness Guide
Quick guide from that provides various health and wellness tips, related to exercise, nutrition, sleep and more, for students.