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Franklin Regional Council of Governments (MA)

Project DEMAND (Disability, Emergency and Mohawk Area Needs):

Disability is widespread in Franklin County with 17 percent of residents reporting one or more disability. Franklin Regional Council of Governments and its community partners conducted a pilot project to promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities funded by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

Project Activities:

The overall purpose of the program is to improve the health and security of persons with disability in Franklin County, MA, by increasing the responsiveness of municipal and community agencies to the needs of the disabled population by addressing the following issues:

  • Boards of health in the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition lack the capacity to deliver important services to a high-risk population;
  • Boards of health do not understand the extent of disability in their communities nor do they understand the need for health promotion for this population;
  • The disability community and the agencies that serve them are not integrated into the public health emergency planning process and do not understand the function and capacity of boards of health; and
  • Years of research have demonstrated that social isolation and barriers in the built environment limit access to health services for persons with disability.

Technical Assistance Program:

NACCHO is currently offering technical assistance support to local health departments to improve their capacity to develop or enhance health promotion programs for people living with disabilities through coordination of existing health department and community services.

Franklin Regional Council of Governments is providing technical assistance to Whiteside County Health Department (IL).  For more information, please visit: Whiteside County Health Department.

Project Update:

Whiteside County Health Department goals were to develop a voluntary emergency registry to alert emergency response workers to community members with disabilities, and to implement a Healthy Lifestyles workshop and support meeting for people with disabilities. The Whiteside County Health Department also participated in Living the Challenges Weekend in April 2010. The weekend provided support and resources for families living with children with disabilities. Information was given out to families to register for the program. Whiteside County Health Department presented on "How to be Prepared During an Emergency" to daycare centers in the area and they hope to do the presentation to local seniors groups later this year.

For more information on Franklin Regional Council, please contact:

Nina Martin-Anzuoni
Co-Director, Community Services Department
Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Phone: (413) 774-3167, Ext. 118
Web Site: