AAIDD Focuses On Physical, Emotional, Spiritual and Environmental Health
AAIDD has long recognized that the quality of life experienced by individuals with intellectual disabilities is directly related to the ability to access comprehensive, individualized, community-based health services and supports.
With more than 7.5 million persons with intellectual disabilities living in communities today, there is a critical need for service systems to provide quality community health supports.
Community Health Supports
AAIDD recently introduced the Community Health Supports model to guide the field in delivering high quality, community-based, personally-directed health services and supports. The focus of the new health model is to assist individuals in managing personal limitations, performing desired activities, and participating in desired social roles within communities of their choice.
Community Health Supports include environmental adaptations, technological assistance, and the provision of social, emotional and spiritual supports, in addition to medical, behavioral and therapeutic interventions.
The AAIDD is also leading the way in advancing good health by educating others about the disabling effects of exposure to toxic substances like lead, mercury, PCB’s, alcohol, toluene and tobacco.
The Environmental Health Initiative is designed to promote good health and reduce disability by forging ground breaking partnerships among the developmental disability groups and the environmental health network.
Project’s Goals are to:
- Raise awareness about the connection between toxic chemicals and developmental disabilities.
- Raise awareness that those living with developmental disabilities may be at greater risk for toxic exposure than those living without a disability.
- Promote good health and reduce toxic exposures by collaborating for action with other relevant environmental and disability organizations.
- Promote progressive public policy in support of good health and reduced environmental toxicity.
AAIDD Accomplishments In Advancing Total Health:
- Convening a groundbreaking national summit at Wingspread to explore how environmental toxins and pollutants affect the lives of those with intellectual disabilities and to develop a National Action Plan aimed at reducing health risks associated with toxic exposure.
- Conducting a multi-year national Environmental Health Initiative that promotes good health, reduces toxic exposures and builds partnerships with other disability and public health organizations.
- Promoting progressive public policy in support of good health and reduced environmental toxicity, and raising awareness about the connection between toxic chemicals and developmental disabilities, and that those living with developmental disabilities may be at greater risk for toxic exposure than those living without a disability.
- Offering a new Supports Intensity Scale section to measure the impact of common health and medical needs on the supports that individuals with disabilities require to lead a life of quality.