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Health Matters

This comprehensive curriculum provides the tools to set up and work through an exercise and nutrition education program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.This innovative curriculum is an interactive program specifically designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The schedule is flexible, consisting of 1-hour sessions (consider running 3 sessions each week) that encourage participants to understand their attitudes toward health, food and exercise; to gain skills and knowledge about healthy eating and exercising; to identify food and exercise preferences; to participate in food preparation and exercise activities; and to locate places in their community where they can exercise regularly.Strategies that are woven throughout this curriculum include making choices, self-determination, self-efficacy, self-advocacy, and rights and responsibility, along with problem-solving techniques and conflict resolution. Direct staff or health professionals can easily adapt the curriculum to meet the unique needs and capacities of individuals with ID/DD and their agencies, and there are specific guidelines for adapting the entire curriculum for use with people with more severe disabilities. The curriculum includes all necessary handouts, worksheets, and instructions for the program instructor in either the book or on the accompanying CD.
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About the Author

Dr. Marks is also Associate Director for Research in the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities (RRTCADD) and President of the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities. She directs research activities related to health promotion, health advocacy, primary health care, and occupational health and safety for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Marks has developed and implemented community-based surveys related to health and safety for people with disabilities and has written publications and presented papers in the area of disability, health, and community engagement in the United States and internationally. She has coedited a special issue for Nursing Clinics of North America titled Promoting Health Across the Lifespan for Persons with Developmental Disabilities and a feasibility study report, Advancing Nursing Education at Bel-Air Sanatorium and Hospital in Panchgani, Maharashtra, India, through The Global Health Leadership Office/ WHO Collaborating Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Sisiraka (TM)s research interests focus on nutrition, health literacy, and health promotion for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She coordinates several health promotion projects in the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities and has written publications and has presented papers in the area of disability in the DHD at UIC. Her research interests consist of nutrition, health literacy, and health promotion for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She coordinates several health promotion projects in the RRTCADD and has written publications and presented papers in the areas of disability, health, and nutrition. Ms. Sisirak received her bachelor of science degree in dietetics at Southern Illinois University and her master of public health at UIC. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in community health sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Heller also directs the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities and projects on support interventions for individuals with disabilities, including the Special Olympics Research Collaborating Center. Dr. Heller has written more than 150 publications and presented more than 200 papers at major conferences on family support interventions and policies, self-determination, health promotion, and aging of people with developmental disabilities. She has coedited two books (Health of Women with Intellectual Disabilities, Blackwell Publishing, 2002; Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities: Optimizing Choice and Change, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1993) and edited special issues of Technology and Disability, American Journal on Mental Retardation, Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, and Family Relations. She is the president of the board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. In 2005 she was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. As a cofounder of the national Sibling Leadership Network, she is a member of its steering committee. Her awards include the 2009 Autism Ally for Public Policy Award of The Arc/The Autism Program of Illinois; the 2008 Lifetime Research Achievement Award, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Special Interest Group on Aging and Intellectual Disabilities; and the 2009 Community Partner Award of Community Support Services.


"A dynamic, practical curriculum that is driven not by checklists, but rather each person's readiness to change."--Patricia Noonan Walsh, Ph.D."UCD, Dublin, Ireland" (11/01/2008) "If you work with individuals with developmental disabilities, if you are concerned about promoting health and well being, and if you want concrete, day-to-day activities and ideas to carry them out, then you want this book."--George Jesien, Ph.D."Executive Director, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)" (11/01/2008) "A creative, innovative and valuable resource for promoting and improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities . . . a must read."--David N. Carlow, RN, MSN"Director of Health and Clinical Services, State of Connecticut Department Developmental Services, Hartford, CT" (11/01/2008) Provides a set of tools that forges a path towards overall wellness, and will prove invaluable to those who work to "ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are and remain healthier human beings." --Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D.

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