DAWN Center for Independent Living is one of 12 CIL’s in the state of NJ chosen by the Administration on Community Living to participate in the Expanding the Public Health Workforce within the Aging and Disability Networks.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided funding via the aging and disability networks (networks that play an essential role in public health) to recruit, hire, and train public health workers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future public health challenges utilizing the existing aging and disability networks.

Survey Report

In 2023, 102 individuals with a disability or functional limitation or a care provider took part in a survey to identify barriers to public health activities. This report aims to provide information that can inform local health departments of ways to meet the unique needs of older adults and people with disabilities in their communities.

Health and Wellness Guide

This guide is intended to create an awareness of health and wellness principles and to engage individuals with disabilities and functional access needs to resources to public health and healthy living initiatives in their communities.



Public Health Training

In May 2023, DAWN Center for Independent Living hosted three  1 hour training webinar for public health workers in an effort to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future health challenges of individuals with disabilities. The webinar provided a framework for public health to develop cultural competency skills to protect and promote the health of older adults and people with disabilities.

Continuing public health education credit was provided by Rutgers School of Public Health

Learning Objectives included:

  • understanding ways to be inclusive of individuals with disabilities and access and functional limitations in public health services and education
  • learning ways to build partnerships with community disability services and human services agencies and foster relationships
  • contributing to the development of a competent workforce and connecting the special needs population to needed health and social services

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Human Services and Community Training

In April 2023, DAWN Center for Independent Living hosted two 1 hour forums for Disabilities and Human Services Professionals in an effort to foster collaboration in the promotion of inclusion in public health and municipal health and wellness and emergency management initiatives.

We discussed ways in which individuals with disabilities, and functional and access needs could connect and engage with municipal and local public health activities. Participants were invited to up for any 1 of the two sessions, or both.

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View or Listen to a Recording of the Presentation