Case Studies

Monday Mile

Two Women on the Special Olympics Virginia Swim Team Make a Joyful Splash in the Pool, Training in 2011

As the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University developed the Monday Mile program, a community health initiative focusing on increased physical activity for Syracuse residents, they discovered that an important population from their community was missing: individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID). This realization in mind, the Lerner Center partnered with key organizations in their community and reached out to members of the disability community to redesign the Monday Mile program to be inclusive of people with disabilities, including ID. Now, the Monday Mile program serves the entire Syracuse community giving everyone the same opportunity to improve their health.


There is a disconnect between the individuals who would most benefit from health resources and their ability to access them.


In 2012, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University, with the support of the Syracuse Mayor and County Executive Offices, created the Monday Mile program to encourage residents to become more physically active and sustain healthy behaviors. The Center partnered with the Parks & Recreation Department to design one-mile walking routes in local parks in order to promote walking as a way of being physically active, and ultimately improve the health of the community.

One of the goals of the Center is to ensure that the programs it develops reflect the needs of the entire community, including individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID). Data collected suggested that there could be a positive health outcome for individuals with ID utilizing this program. As the result, the Center worked to address previous barriers to access to ensure that the updated program would be inclusive and representative of the whole of the Syracuse community.


Following the realization - upon the prompting of a colleague to re-assess the programs accessibility - that the Monday Mile was not inclusive of those with ID, the Monday Mile program was updated. Learn how by reading the entire case study here.