Leveraging CILs to Increase Vaccines for People with Disabilities

Approximately 61 million adults living in the US have a disability, representing nearly 26% of the adult population. Disability alone may not be related to increased risk for contracting COVID-19. However, some people with disabilities may be at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 based on where they live, and/or difficulty complying with mitigation strategies. The presence of underlying medical conditions puts others at increased risk for severe illness. Vaccinating people with disabilities poses unique challenges including ensuring physical accessibility of vaccination sites. To address these challenges, successful vaccine programs for people with disabilities will best be achieved through collaboration with disability-led organizations who are subject matter experts and recognized leaders in their communities. The CDC Foundation received federal funding to build the capacity of community-based organizations, specifically Centers for Independent Living (CILs), in a minimum of 37 jurisdictions and provide tools, resources, and support to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities. The CDC Foundation partnered with Able South Carolina to identify and provide grants to CILs, as well as develop their capacities through training and webinars. The CDC Foundation also partnered with NACCHO to provide technical assistance to CILs on engaging with their local and state health departments as well as providing resources to health departments on improving access to vaccines for people with disabilities.

This project has resulted in the Partnership Guide for Centers for Independent Living and State and Local Health Departments, which is a resource to promote and guide collaborations between centers for independent living and state and local health departments to better support the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities.

View this guide en EspaƱol


This project Leveraging CILs to Increase Vaccines for People with Disabilities was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $7,220,000 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Program Description: To support Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in increasing access to COVID-19 vaccination.
Funding Partners:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Program Location:
  • United States of America