Self-Advocacy Resources

Below are some resources and tools for self-advocates to help them live a healthier more independent life.  All information is developed with input from self-advocates on content and accessiblitiy. 

Self-Advocacy Online

SAO is an innovative website designed for individuals with intellectual disability with learning tools, resources and videos to help empower them to live more independent lives. Through The Arc’s HealthMeet® project, The University of Minnesota has created 2 online modules relating to health, wellness, and exercise that use accessible text, audio, pictures and video clips to help illustrate key concepts. 

  1. Taking Care of Myself - Learn how to play an active role in maintaining your own health. This module will explain why it is important to be healthy in all aspects of your life focusing on 4 main parts: Food & Drink, Exercise, Relationships and Feelings. 
  2. Exercise – Demonstrations of different types of exercises to do to stay healthy that use short video clips showing each exercise, so learners can do it at home along with the video. This module will focus on the 4 main types of activities: Cardiovascular, Strength Training, Flexibility and Everyday Activities.
  3. Building My Relationships - This lesson focuses on connecting with friends and community members.  Participants look at their current relationships and think about where and how they'd like to develop new relationships. Learn what a healthy relationship is made up of and what qualities you bring into different relationships. 
  4. A Healthy Plate - Overview of how to eat a healthy well balanced diet.  It uses the ChooseMyPlate picture to describe the food groups and examples of healthy food options in each category. The benefits on the body from each food group are also explained. 

Healthcare Checklists

Through The Arc’s HealthMeet® project, we have worked closely with self-advocate Santa Perez from The Arc of Nevada to develop healthcare checklists that individuals with IDD can use when selecting and talking to their healthcare providers. These checklists will help self-advocates ask their doctor important questions regarding their health, so they can take better care of their bodies and be more informed about the care they receive.

Santa Perez is the Advocate Coordinator at The Arc of Nevada.  She received her Bachelors of Arts from Cal State Northridge and is co-founder of People First of Nevada.  Read Santa’s full biography!

Cancer Booklets

The Arc of New Jersey has developed 3 comprehensive guides on cancer for individuals with intellectual disability that help explain what cancer is, the importance of screenings and early detection, and lifestyle changes that may help reduce your risk of developing it. 

Women's health booklets relating to mammograms and breast cancer:

Summer Safety Flyers

These flyers help remind individuals with ID that we need to take proper care of our skin when heading out in the sun and be careful in the water when cooling off in the pool or at the beach. 

Prevent, Understand, and Live with Diabetes

A Guide for the Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes developed specifically for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Diabetes Video Guide (English Version):
Part 1:
Part 2:

Diabetes Video Guide (Spanish Version):
Part 1:
Part 2:

Taking Charge of MY HEALTH

An online information booklet with resources to help teens and young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn to address health issues.

Taking Charge of MY Health will help you find out how to:

  • Transition from pediatric to adult health care
  • Live more independently
  • Become a self-advocate!

General Health Booklets