Physical Fitness and Health: (I Can Do It, You Can Do It) ensuring access to health care, and access to physical fitness and wellness opportunities for persons with disabilities
An exciting nation-wide initiative supporting physical activity for children and youth with disabilities
Questions? Contact the Office on Disability at 202.401.5844
Topics on this page
What is I can do it - You can do it?
The Goal: To improve the health of the six million American children who have disabilities by encouraging increased physical activity and healthy nutritional behaviors-a major priority of Secretary Thompson, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The Collaborators: The DHHS Office on Disability (OD) initiated The National Initiative on Physical Fitness for Children and Youth with Disabilities. The OD sought and obtained the collaboration of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as well as that of more than fifty disability-based national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Americans with disabilities (see page 3).
The Mechanism: Collaborating disability-based national organizations across the country will link physically fit mentors (who may or may not have a disability) with children who are disabled. The mentors provide training and guidance to help the children become physically active by accumulating minutes of physical activity daily to earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), and, with continued encouragement, strive to earn a Presidential Champions Award by accumulating points for a bronze, silver or gold medal.
The Three-Year Implementation Plan
How can I take part in the President's Challenge and earn the awards sponsored by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports?
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has a free motivational awards program, the President's Challenge, designed to help all Americans age six and above, including people with disabilities, make and keep a commitment to regular physical activity. The awards are open to people with disabilities on the same basis as for those without disabilities. There are two awards offered for the "I Can Do It, You Can do It" program. The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) motivates children age 6-17 to begin a physical activity program by being active for 60 minutes a day/5 days a week for 6 weeks (or 30 minutes a day for adults age 18 and over). Choose from over 100 activities, and track the activities online or on paper. After six weeks of continuous activity, participants are eligible for a PALA patch/certificate or a PALA lapel pin. The online program is available at www.presidentschallenge.org. A paper log for the PALA can be obtained by calling 1-800-258-8146. After earning a PALA, participants are encouraged to continue their active lifestyles by earning another PALA or by striving to earn a Presidential Champions award. This program is for young people age 6-17 who are already active more than 60 minutes a day/5 days a week (more than 30 minutes a day for adults). The Presidential Champions Awards are available online only. Log on to www.presidentschallenge.org; choose activities; and earn points for each activity logged based on the intensity of the activities and the amount of time spent being active. Participants strive to accumulate points to earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal or lapel pin. The PALA and Presidential Champions programs are free, but there is a nominal charge to purchase the optional array of awards.
What organizations are participating in the program?
American Academy of Pediatrics
How do I become a mentor?
You contact the Office on Disability and tell them that you are a physically fit adult who wants to mentor a child with disabilities. The Office on Disability will ask one of the 50 participating organizations to
How do I find a mentor?
Contact the Office on Disability and tell them that you want to become physically fit through the I can do it - You can do it! Program. The Office on Disability will put you in touch with one of the 50 participating organizations that can provide you with a mentor and help you begin a six-week period of physical activity and eating healthy food.
How can my organization participate?
You tell the Office on Disability that you are interested in becoming a partner in the I can do it - You can do it! program. You will be asked to
How do I find information on adapted activities?
Check out these excellent sources of information:
Last revised: May 17, 2006