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The RRTCADD has a variety of available resources. We offer many different Training Programs on topics related to improving the health of individuals with I/DD across the lifespan; enhancing consumer-directed home and community based long-term care; and reducing environmental barriers to health and community participation.

We also provide Technical Assistance for people with disabilities, parents, and caregivers, service providers, health professionals.

Over the past 15 years, we have developed a variety of white papers, briefs, curriculums, and publications. Please visit our Publications webpage to see what is available.

Lastly, we have two webpages devoted to External Links and Topics of Interest that you may find helpful as you look for resources on aging across the lifespan for persons with developmental disabilities.

Getting Involved in Research and Training: A Guide for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities(2012) by Tamar Heller, Tia Nelis, Sheila Collins and Esther Lee Pederson.

Staying Healthy

Fact Sheets for Healthy Aging, (2005). Pederson, E. & Nelis, T.
The RRTCADD’s Facts for Healthy Aging , educates adults with disabilities about health conditions and impairments that typically occur in later life. Each fact sheet provides a concise and understandable explanation of the cause, symptoms and treatments of a specific health condition. These fact sheets were adapted from the “Age Pages” series for the general population developed by the National Institute on Aging

Advocating for Community Living

Use of State Institutions for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Illinois. Nelis, T. & Rizzolo, M. (2006). Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago and State of the States Project, University of Colorado.
Use of State Institutions for People with Intellectual Disabilities in the United States. Nelis, T. & Rizzolo, M. (2005). Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago and State of the States Project, University of Colorado.

Participating in Research Studies

Research: A Guide for Self-Advocates with Disabilities. Swaine, J.G., Parish, S.L. & Luken, K. (2011). The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)

Over 900 people from around the world attended the SABE 2010 Event in Kansas City to celebrate 20 years of the Self-Advocacy movement. See the video HERE!


Project Blast

New Health and Wellness Classes at Local YMCA

A new wellness program piloted in Cincinnati, Ohio last fall continues to hold classes at the YMCA.

The Hamilton County Board of MRDD and the Williams YMCA co-funded the first 8 week BLAST program in the fall of 2007 and assisted with recruitment. Flyers were placed at local YMCA’s. A member of the Y made a donation to support the new program for the next 12 months.

How We Began

Working together, Marvin Moss and Essie Pederson, started Project Blast. Beginning with Mr. Moss’ Partners in Policymaking project in 2007, he chose health and wellness as his personal Partners Project. He was interested in doing this because of his own personal wellness needs, along with being a reviewer for the UIC Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum. In July, 2007, he approached Ms. Pederson to help him meet his goal.

That is how the BLAST program began. It became a partnership that included the Hamilton County Board MRDD (by providing seed money to pilot the program’s first two sessions and staff support), W.J. Williams YMCA (by providing their facility, qualified staff, and the commitment to find ongoing funding), and the RRTC on Aging and DD (by providing the curriculum and staff support).

A great example of what people with disabilities can do when given resources, skills development, and power to succeed.Project Blast T-Shirt

What are We Doing Now

Using the materials from the UIC Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum, everyone has a personal folder to keep their homework assignments; and they enjoy reviewing health education materials in class. An opportunity for everyone in our community with a variety of disabilities to participate in health and wellness activities.

Marvin and Essie currently participate in a regional Health and Wellness Coalition promoting the UIC Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum and the collaboration with the YMCA.

Many of the participants in Project Blast attended the UIC Health Promotion Train-the-Trainer Workshop directed by Beth Marks and Jasmina Sisirak in the Spring of 2007. Tena Benson has also organized the committee of various agencies addressing wellness over the ages.

Awards for Project Blast

  1. Hamilton County Board of MRDD’s Superintendent Award
  2. Volunteer of the Year Award