Introducing Active Engagement: A new program for teaching cooking skills to individuals with IDD – Webinar

Source: Introducing Active Engagement: A new program for teaching cooking skills to individuals with IDD

Presented by Janice Goldschmidt, MS, RD, LDN

Content Overview:

This presentation will launch a book that will be published by AAIDD in June. The title is Active Engagement: Teaching Authentic Cooking Skills to Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Janice Goldschmidt, the author, will provide an overview of the book that draws on the evidence-based structure of the program as well as the philosophical foundation. A Registered Dietitian and experienced IDD practitioner, Ms. Goldschmidt has spent the last decade working with individuals with disabilities on the development of cooking skills as a form of nutritional intervention and as a way of teaching practical skills to promote independence and self-determination. The presentation will include a brief discussion of some of the epidemiological trends for the IDD population and how development of cooking capacity can help mitigate some of the health-related pathologies associated with the high rates of obesity. The conceptual framework for the program will be introduced, and the author will explain how the emphasis on choice and individualization make Active Engagement very different from traditional cooking programs for the IDD population. Introductory teaching activities using adaptive tools will be addressed, as well as important steps needed to adapt recipes for those with IDD. Food skills, activities that support cooking but that are not directly related, will also be introduced as another means of drawing individuals with IDD into the realm of food preparation.

It is anticipated that this introductory tour of Active Engagement will help caregivers, support staff, educators, and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines develop an understanding of how this new book can be incorporated into programs or activities. At the close of the presentation, the author will take questions and offer problem-solving suggestions in response to specific issues that participants have experienced.

This is an AAIDD webinar. 

State Employment First Policies: Research to Practice State

This brief is the first in a series focusing on Employment First implementation as it relates to one of the seven elements within the High-Performing States in Integrated Employment model1. It examines the background of circumstances under which Employment First efforts began in seven states, and introduces each state’s values, mission, and goals around increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. States may use the lessons in this brief to develop an Employment First policy, or to evolve existing efforts.

Download State Definitions, Goals, and Values By Jennifer Bose and Jean E. Winsor

Source: ThinkWork 

ThinkWork is a research and training center focused on advancing employment for individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities (IDD). ThinkWork has published this brief as the first in a series of briefs on the implementation of Employment First policies. The principles of Employment First state that individuals with IDD can perform work, should should be paid at minimum or prevailing wage rates for this work, and that providing work-specific supports should be the top support priority.

Promoting Better Health Beyond Health Care

State-level multi-sector actions for addressing the social, economic, and environmental factors that impact health

May 2018

As part of their Better Health Beyond Health Care initiative, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) conducted a national analysis on innovative ways to promote health. This report discusses the resulting findings and summarizes information from thirty key informant interviews representing programs in 19 states and a small group convening. It explores ways collaboration and cross-sector partnerships can help promote population health and improve outcomes.
Source: Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) 

National experts and state policymakers increasingly recognize that health outcomes are influenced not only by providing access to health care coverage and services, but also by state level policies in non-health sectors, such as agriculture, education, and transportation, among others. The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted a national exploration of state-level strategies to promote health beyond the traditional health care levers. Through review of published and gray literature, interviews with state officials and relevant subject matter experts, in-depth site visits, and a small group convening, CHCS aimed to answer key questions, including: 1. What are the levers across state agencies that could be used to improve population health, either through specific policy action or by exerting state influence? 2. What are examples of diverse state agencies working together and with other community partners to improve population health? 3. What are the key factors necessary to promote effective cross-sector collaborations? 4. What types of technical assistance and facilitation would increase states’ capacity to pursue and successfully implement these actions? 5. How might state-level assistance be targeted to support and scale similar innovation? Following is a summary of key takeaways from this exploration, organized according to: (1) precursors, or foundational factors that help to prime the environment for state action; (2) catalysts that initiate and advance coordination among diverse state agencies; and (3) success factors for effective implementation and ongoing collaboration.

Mental Health-related Physician Office Visits by Adults Aged 18 and Over: United States, 2012–2014

Source: Products – Data Briefs – Number 311 – June 2018

Key findings

Data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

  • Among adults aged 18 and over, the rate of mental health-related physician office visits to psychiatrists (693 per 10,000 adults) was higher compared with the rate to primary care physicians overall (397 per 10,000 adults), and for all age groups except 65 and over.
  • For both men and women, the rate of mental health-related office visits to psychiatrists was higher compared with visits to primary care physicians.
  • The percentage of mental health-related office visits to psychiatrists compared with primary care physicians was lower in rural areas, but higher in large metropolitan areas.
  • For all primary expected sources of payment except Medicare, a higher percentage of mental health-related office visits were to psychiatrists rather than to primary care physicians.

In 2016, mental illness affected about 45 million U.S. adults (1). Although mental health-related office visits are often made to psychiatrists (2), primary care physicians can serve as the main source of treatment for patients with mental health issues (3); however, availability of provider type may vary by geographic region (3,4). This report uses data from the 2012–2014 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) to examine adult mental health-related physician office visits by specialty and selected patient characteristics.

Family Leisure Toolkit | Parents with Mental Illnesses

Leisure participation is important for the development of healthy family relationships.

Source: Family Leisure Toolkit | Parents with Mental Illnesses

Leisure Education Toolkit for Parents with Mental Illnesses


This toolkit is an evidence-based guide that will help parents better understand the importance of family leisure and develop strategies to participate in meaningful family leisure. Research on the need for family leisure, potential benefits, and strategies to increase participation are presented. This user friendly guide provides worksheets and activities that parents can use with their children to make the most out of family leisure. For individuals who want to receive additional support, each section also provides an opportunity to summarize goals and issues that can be shared with a mental health professional. Download now to learn more about: (1) the benefits of family leisure; (2) core and balance family leisure; (3) strategies to assess family leisure interest; (4) barriers to and facilitators of family leisure; (5) planning and making time for family leisure; and (6) using leisure to talk with your kids about mental illnesses.

Health Matters | The Arc of San Antonio

Amerigroup is proud to support The Arc of San Antonio

Source: Health Matters | The Arc of San Antonio

San Antonio, TX – According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults with disabilities have an almost 60 percent higher rate of obesity than adults without disabilities. The Arc of San Antonio is thrilled to announce that for the second consecutive year, it will be receiving a grant from Anthem Foundation to support the Health and Fitness for All project. This grant was made possible, thanks to an almost $88,000 national grant from Amerigroup’s parent company foundation, which will be used to conduct this health project at nine chapters of The Arc in Texas, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. The mission of The Arc is to enrich the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc of San Antonio operates two day activity centers in San Antonio and works with over 200 adults with I/DD on a daily basis.

“Amerigroup is proud to support The Arc of San Antonio and is dedicated to working to help ensure that Texans of all abilities have programs in their communities that will help ensure they lead healthy lifestyles,” said Tisch Scott, Amerigroup Texas president.

The Health and Fitness for All project utilizes the HealthMatters™ curriculum, which is a training developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago that provides structured information on how to organize and start a tailored physical activity and health education program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

In the first year of the grant, The Arc of San Antonio worked with local Amerigroup officials and Methodist Healthcare Ministries, which supports The Arc’s nursing program, to administer the HealthMatters curriculum to 53 individuals! The curriculum implements a 12-week program which helps increase participants’ knowledge about the importance of healthy eating and staying active.

This year, in collaboration with The YMCA, The Arc will target 75 individuals in underserved areas of San Antonio for the HealthMatters program. “We are excited about the prospect of expanding this sustainable program outside of our four walls and look forward to making a lasting impact on these new participants and their families,” said Marissa Herrera, RN at The Arc of San Antonio, who is coordinating the program locally.

“Leading a healthy lifestyle is difficult for everyone, including people with I/DD. The Arc is fortunate to have the generous support of the Anthem Foundation so we can continue to provide education and resources that will help people with I/DD make healthier decisions in their daily lives,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.


Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.

The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States

The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States

Source: The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States: Disability and Rehabilitation: Vol 0, No 0

Purpose: To better understand the relationship between employment and health and health care for people with disabilities in the United States (US).

Methods: We pooled US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2004–2010) data to examine health status, and access to health care among working-age adults, comparing people with physical disabilities or multiple disabilities to people without disabilities, based on their employment status. Logistic regression and least squares regression were conducted, controlling for sociodemographics, health insurance (when not the outcome), multiple chronic conditions, and need for assistance.

Results: Employment was inversely related to access to care, insurance, and obesity. Yet, people with disabilities employed in the past year reported better general and mental health than their peers with the same disabilities who were not employed. Those who were employed were more likely to have delayed/forgone necessary care, across disability groups. Part-time employment, especially for people with multiple limitations, was associated with better health and health care outcomes than full-time employment.

Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of addressing employment-related causes of delayed or foregone receipt of necessary care (e.g., flex-time for attending appointments) that exist for all workers, especially those with physical or multiple disabilities.

  • Implications for rehabilitation
  • These findings demonstrate that rehabilitation professionals who are seeking to support employment for persons with physical limitations need to ensure that overall health concerns are adequately addressed, both for those seeking employment and for those who are currently employed.

  • Assisting clients in prioritizing health equally with employment can ensure that both areas receive sufficient attention.

  • Engaging with employers to develop innovative practices to improve health, health behaviors and access to care for employees with disabilities can decrease turnover, increase productivity, and ensure longer job tenure.

Mobile Accommodation Solution

The free Mobile Accommodation Solution (MAS) app is designed to streamline the disability accommodation process. The MAS app serves as a first-generation mobile case management tool to help employers, service providers, and individuals effectively address accommodation requests in the workplace.

Source: JAN Training Downloads

The app will support talent management, human resources, and/or accommodation staff to create inclusive workplaces by facilitating the process of accommodating applicants, candidates, and employees. The app will also support service providers to help people with disabilities better manage the accommodation process. In addition, the app will enable people with disabilities to develop an accommodation request letter, send the request, and track the progress of the request.

County-Level Disability Prevalence and Employment Statistics Compendium | Now Available

These reports complement and provide greater depth to the topics found in the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and Annual Disability Statistics Supplement. Each report provides statistics on the prevalence and employment of people with and without disabilities for each county in any given state in the US. Reports include a background and interpretive text specific to each state and are intended for advocates, policy-makers, and researchers to support programs and services for people with disabilities.

Source: County Reports | Annual Disability Statistics Compendium