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I Can Do It!

Logo of I Can Do It! with tagline Healthy Goals for EveryoneI Can Do It! (ICDI) is a customizable and inclusive health promotion model aimed at transforming the lives of individuals with a disability. ICDI is centered on Mentor-Mentee relationships and weekly health-related goals. In ICDI programs around the country, ICDI Mentors (aged 16+) and ICDI Mentees (participants with a disability aged five+) meet weekly to engage in physical activity, learn and practice healthy eating behaviors, and set health-related goals.

The 8-week ICDI model can be implemented in a variety of settings, including:

  • K-12 schools and school districts
  • Colleges and universities
  • Community-based organizations

Become an ICDI Site today! Download and complete the ICDI Site Application.

Through August 12th, 2018, apply to receive a financial incentive to evaluate ICDI at your Site! Learn more below.

Jump to: Making the Case for ICDI | ICDI Core Tenets | Become an ICDI Site | Resources | ICDI Background

Making the Case for I Can Do It!

personal trainer supports two individuals lifting weights while sitting in wheelchairsICDI addresses the needs of more than 56 million Americans living with a disability1. According to the CDC, about 50% of adults (aged 18-64 years) with a disability “get no aerobic physical activity” compared to only 25% of adults without a disability2,3. Adults (aged 18-64) with a disability who “get no aerobic physical activity” were 50% more likely to have chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, or heart disease than their active peers2,3.

Benefits of regular physical activity and healthy eating include4:

  • Improved mood and well-being
  • Reduced risk of heart disease or stroke
  • Reduced risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes
  • Growth and development of strong bones, muscles, and joints

Individuals with a disability face unique challenges in the pursuit of being healthy and active. ICDI addresses barriers head on:

Common Barrier: Limited availability of accessible environments to be active (e.g., adapted or inclusive sport, recreation, and/or physical activity-based facilities and programs)5
ICDI Solution: Establish ICDI sites which offer opportunities for individuals with a disability to participate in adapted or inclusive physical and healthy eating activities

Common Barrier: Lack of resources in support of physical activity and healthy eating habits5
ICDI Solution: Provide ICDI and health-related resources, as well as one-on-one guidance to leaders working to improve the lives of individuals with a disability

Common Barrier: Lack of social support (family member or friend) for pursuing physical activity involvement and healthy eating5
ICDI Solution: Foster individual Mentee-Mentor relationships through weekly ICDI sessions and encourage involvement of family, friends, and/or caregivers outside of weekly sessions

ICDI Core Tenets

  • MENTORING: Volunteer Mentors support and guide Mentees in physical activity and/or healthy eating activities at least once a week during an ICDI program. ICDI Sites coordinate all program activities, including specialized ICDI Training for Mentors.
  • GOAL-SETTING: Mentees use the ICDI Goal-Setting Handbook to set and track weekly, personal physical activity and healthy eating goals with the help of their Mentor. Mentees discuss their activities and goals with their Mentor each week.
  • RECOGNITION: Mentees earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA+) for their commitment to leading a healthy, active lifestyle through ICDI.

Become an ICDI Site

adult personal trainer supports older adult woman lifting a free weightEach ICDI Site is completely unique—that means that the physical activity and healthy eating opportunities you choose to offer and the participants you decide to recruit for your Site are up to you! The 8-week ICDI model can be implemented in a variety of settings, including: K-12 schools and school districts, colleges and universities and community-based organizations. The customization doesn’t stop there: ICDI Sites across the country serve Mentees of all ability levels and with any disability. Some Sites offer a range of physical activities and healthy eating experiences for Mentees while others focus on a particular sport or skill. Become an ICDI Site today to help address the needs of individuals with a disability in your school or community.

ICDI Sites gain special access to comprehensive ICDI Resources, including:

  • A step-by-step checklist to get started with ICDI
  • ICDI Training Presentations to inform and guide Mentors
  • ICDI Orientation and Training Presentations for ICDI Site Coordinators
  • Goal-Setting Handbooks to assist Mentees in setting and tracking weekly goals with a Mentor
  • Customizable, and ready to use, marketing materials to support recruitment and awareness
  • Access to the ICDI Support Team to assist Site Coordinators in the development, implementation, and/or sustainability of an ICDI Site
  • PALA+ Goal Resources that provide Mentors and Mentees important physical activity and healthy eating information in line with federal guidelines


Promote I Can Do It! Help Make Your Community Inclusive

ICDI provides free-to-use promotional materials to help you make the case for inclusive physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for individuals with a disability and create awareness of the ICDI model in your community.

Health Resources
A number of resources on topics including: physical activity, healthy eating, disability, and girls and women with a disability are available. These resources may be used as supplements to support implementation of the ICDI model.

I Can Do It! Background

adult woman supporting four young girls preparing healthy foodsThe ICDI national model was initiated by Dr. Margaret J. Giannini, former Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Disability in 2004, with support from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Division of Nutrition Research Coordination at the National Institutes of Health.

In 2011, the President’s Council adopted ICDI and convened a panel of federal and non-federal experts with a background in physical activity and nutrition for individuals with disabilities, to review the ICDI framework and materials. Final recommendations from the Panel included: expansion of the program to include children and adults and strengthening of the nutrition component. The revitalized ICDI was first announced in May 2013.

In 2018, the President’s Council celebrated 5 years of ICDI with a rebranding initiative. In addition to a new ICDI look and feel, ICDI program materials are updated and new ICDI resources are available to best serve the needs of diverse ICDI Sites and participants.

1Brault, M. Americans With Disabilities: 2010. Current Population Reports. 2012; July: 70-131.

2Inactivity Related to Chronic Disease in Adults with Disabilities. cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/division-information/media-tools/dpk/vs-disability-activity/index.html. Updated July 21, 2017. Accessed January 2, 2018.

3National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Human Development and Disability. CDC Vital Signs -Adults with Disabilities. Cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/disabilities/index.html. Published May 6, 2014. Accessed January 2, 2018.

4Physical Activity and Health. cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm. Updated June 4, 2015. Accessed January 2, 2018.

5National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Human Development and Disability. Cdc.gov. Disability and Obesity. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/obesity.html. Updated August 1, 2017. Accessed January 2, 2018.


Content created by President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
Content last reviewed on August 27, 2018