Health Matters for People with Developmental Disabilities: Creating a Sustainable Health Promotion Program

Authors: Beth Marks RN, Ph.D., Jasmina Sisirak M.P.H., Tamar Heller Ph.D.; Foreword Author: Beverly J. McElmurry

Format: Paperback, 176 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781598570007
Price: $34.95

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Adults with developmental disabilities are at significant risk for health problems. Effective health promotion can improve outcomes—and that's why adult day and residential agencies, schools, and other organizations need this invaluable program development guide. An urgent call to action and a start-to-finish framework for health promotion, this book shows administrators and service providers how to increase supports for health education, exercise and nutrition by implementing their own successful program.

With practical guidance on every stage of program development, readers will discover how to

  • effectively communicate the key "selling points" of a health promotion program, from improved quality of life to reduced cost of health care
  • win the support of everyone involved, from senior management to direct support staff
  • manage practical aspects like budgeting, gathering resources, and recruiting staff
  • use Universal Design to develop a program that welcomes people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities
  • motivate program participants with creative activities and strategies
  • ensure lasting improvements in health behaviors by setting up environmental and organizational supports
  • evaluate the program's outcomes and identify areas for improvement

To help them implement their own health promotion program, readers will get practical planning tools:

  • a "getting started" checklist
  • a sample Program Timeline and budget
  • lists of Internet and community resources
  • and assessment tools for determining their participants' needs, their current resources, and the success of their program.

The ideal complement to the proven Health Matters health education curriculum, this highly accessible program development guide will help service providers ensure better health—and better lives—for adults with a wide range of disabilities.


Review: Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
"With Health Matters, there is no longer any excuse for DD providers not to have health promotion programming...[It] is an important contribution to the field and will benefit many people with DD."
Review by: Joan Guthrie Medlen, Author, The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles; President, JEM Communications; Clinical Advisor for Health Literacy, Special Olympics, Healthy Athletes Program
"The authors have carefully provided an easy-to-understand framework for establishing programs that will change lives . . . for people with and without disabilities."
Review by: James Rimmer, Director, National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
"A blockbuster text that will shift the paradigm . . . from a medically oriented focus to a more socially constructive emphasis on empowerment, self-determination and the right of people with developmental disabilities to live a healthy lifestyle in the community."

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Foreword - Beverly J. McElmurry

  1. Health Promotion and Health Status
  2. Behaviors and Environment
  3. Setting Goals with Individuals and Your Organization
  4. Implementing a Health Promotion Program
  5. Sustaining Your Health Promotion Program

Appendix: Health Matters Assessment

Health MAtters Assessment of Needs (HMAN)
Helath Matters Assessment of Capacity (HMAC)


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