Health and Wellness News

Research in Focus: Ideas for Supporting Healthy Lifestyles for Youth with Disabilities

Recent focus groups of youth with disabilities from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds and their parents highlighted challenges faced when trying to engage in healthy lifestyles and participate actively in recreational activities.

The focus groups also shared ideas for improvements. Here are some of the ideas the youth came up with:

  • Starting community teams or clubs that are accessible
  • Offering programs to teach youth with disabilities to drive or use public transportation
  • Organizing healthy cooking classes
  • Removing unhealthy snack vending machines from schools

The parents recommended:

  • Establishing programs where parents and their children can exercise together
  • Training for teachers and coaches on how to make their programs inclusive
  • Partnering with staff who already include youth with disabilities in their programs
  • Using community gardens to grow fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Providing family education on healthy diet choices and how foods can interact with medications the youth may be taking