HealthMatters™ Program

The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disabilities

By Beth Marks, RN, PhD, Jasmina Sisirak, PhD, MPH, & Tamar Heller, PhD

This evidence-based curriculum includes everything community based organizations need to run successful health promotion program: complete instructions on running the program, adaptable instructor scripts for each lesson, weekly newsletter templates for participants that summarize key points, extensive appendices on assessment and Universal Design strategies, and all the participant handouts and worksheets on a convenient CD-ROM for easy printing.

Mission Statement

HealthMatters™ Program envisions people with DD being empowered to Take Charge of their Health by building capacity among their community-based support networks. We incorporate the following four values to move the perception of disability beyond a health issue to an issue of human rights, diversity, and equality:

– People with disabilities have a right to receive education and services that promote their health,
– People can contribute to their own well-being by becoming knowledgeable about their health and health resources, and by becoming active participants in health promotion activities,
– Health and health promotion activities are not a form of social control, but must always be based on the needs and lifestyle preferences of individuals, and,
– Support from caregivers and increased access to health and health promotion activities improves health status and increases opportunities for community engagement.

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