Promoting Disability Inclusion in Black Hawk County

Focus on Recreation Programs for Children and Youth with Disabilities

The Black Hawk County Inclusive Health Coalition is promoting the accessibility, inclusion, and participation of children and youth with disabilities, ages 3-21, in health and recreation programming in Black Hawk County. The coalition is led by people with disabilities, family members, and disability advocates. It was formed because this population is often unintentionally excluded from participating in recreation programs with peers who may not have disabilities. Approximately 19% of Iowa’s children have a disability or special health care need.

The coalition surveyed families and organizations to determine the need for disability inclusion in the Cedar Valley and to propose solutions. A local organization, Inclusion Connection, began leading the coalition in implementing these solutions beginning in August 2021.

In response to the survey, many organizations noted an interest in becoming more inclusive and identified the following needs:

  • Training for executive directors and leadership staff on developing a culture of inclusion
  • Practical information to help staff develop and implement programs that include children with disabilities
  • Access to a library of inclusive images, showing children with disabilities engaged in recreational activities with peers, for organizations to use free of charge on marketing materials or websites
  • Promotion of inclusive opportunities to families of children with disabilities and resources for finding adaptive equipment 

This project was supported through a contract with the University of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), with funding from the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability. 

Learn more about the Black Hawk County Inclusive Health Coalition from Inclusion Connection.

For more information or questions, get in touch with Paul Greene at or 319-404-4940.

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