Disability Health Project

Injury and Violence Prevention
Disability Health Project

People with disabilities often have more health care problems or issues than people without disabilities. These disparities have many causes; they may occur because health care is not accessible (physical barriers, financial barriers, lack of information, etc.) or because basic health needs may be overlooked when a person has a disability.

Minnesota has many strong agencies and organizations working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, but few have been able to focus on public health issues relating to disabilities. Through this project, organizations helped identify the health needs of the people they serve. Working together, the groups aimed to promote health and prevent secondary conditions. A secondary condition can be any medical, social, emotional, family, or community problem that a person with a primary disabling condition likely experiences.

The Disability Health Project was coordinated by the MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Section and funded by a planning grant through the CDC Division on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Minnesota was one of 16 state grantees, and CDC also funded related research projects and national disability organizations.


  • Develop a plan to promote the health of Minnesotans with disabilities and to prevent secondary conditions.
  • Study disability-related data sources in Minnesota, to determine what data are being collected and, if feasible, to improve quality and consistency.
  • Study the prevalence in Minnesota of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury (TBI and SCI) and the co-occurrence of violence with these disabilities. Future efforts may expand to other disabilities.


The Disability Health Project Advisory Work Group included agencies and organizations that work with people with disabilities. Members include persons with disabilities and parents of children and adults with disabilities.

Advisory work group member organizations:

Updated Wednesday, 23-Jan-2019 13:45:23 CST