12-Week HealthMatters Program
Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Program for People with Developmental Disabilities


12-Week HealthMatters Program for People with Developmental Disabilities includes exercise, nutrition, and health education components. Instructors teaching the 12-week program may find it useful to attend the HealthMatters Program: Train-the-Trainer Certified Instructor Workshop to implement the HealthMatters program.

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The program can be completed at the community activity center, home, school, or work. The recommended class size is 6-10 participants. We recommend having at least two Instructors for the classes.

Program Goals

  1. Increase knowledge about healthy lifestyles
  2. Improve fitness
  3. Teach core concepts related to physical activity and nutrition

Program Activities
Program is 12-weeks long and meets 3 times per week (4-6 hours total per week) with following activities:

  1. Exercise class (60 minutes, 3 times per week)
  2. Health education class (30-60 minutes, 3 times per week)
  3. Program evaluation (before and after the program)

HealthMattersTM Program and all of its components is an evidence-based Administration on Community Living (ACL) approved health promotion program designed specifically for and by the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With over two decades of research and translation into community sites serving people with IDD, we have reached over 10,000+ people with IDD and over 2800 support staff across 35 states and 8 countries.

Staff who attend HealthMatters Program: Train-the-Trainer Certified Instructor Workshop/Webinar will receive certificate to teach the 12-Week HealthMatters Program
Health Matters Program Guide

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

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

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 people with a wide range of disabilities.

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