UIC COVID-19 Grant Project and ACCSES COVID-19 Survey

NTG collaborating with UIC on COVID-10 Grant Project!

Many people with intellectual disability have health conditions that put them at higher risk, especially those adults living in or attending high-risk congregate care settings, where COVID-19 tends to rapidly spread.  To address this, Drs. Jasmina Sisirak and Beth Marks with the HealthMattersTM Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago were awarded a grant from the UIC’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science COVID-19 Pilot Grant Program. Their project "Virtual Coach: HealthMattersTM Google Classroom to Support Frontline Staff to Protect People with ID During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic“ is funded for one year, through to mid-2021. This project aims to collect information and produce a training program with respect to today's COVID-19 pandemic.

The Project involves undertaking a national survey, which was done in late summer of 2020 to learn more about how community-based organizations that provide services to people with intellectual disability were preparing and responding to COVID-19 pandemic.  The results were collated with other information, along with public input and discussions with national organizations, and used to produce technical materials useful for the provider sector.  Information from other surveys will also be integrated into the Project’s work. 

The Project is also applying the Virtual Coach: HealthMattersTM Google Classroom to determine if this online, any-time, anywhere health promotion training program can effectively get front-line staff and people with intellectual disability to follow public health guidelines and stay safe and healthy. The Virtual Coach HealthMattersTM Classroom will use lessons from the HealthMatters Program's Administration on Community Living approved, evidence-based HealthMattersTM Program and Health Matters Curriculum for people with intellectual disability and their front-line supports to understand, consider, and communicate health behaviors during and after the pandemic. The HealthMattersTM Program maintains the Virtual Coach Classroom (open-sourced) at www.HealthMattersProgram.orgFor more information on the Project.


The NTG has agreed to be a collaborating partner in the Project and to aid with the survey and training development aspects.  Other partners include ACCSES and the YAI organization.

ACCSES, YAI, NTG Collaborative Survey    

The ACCSES organization in Washington, DC, undertook a major national survey of provider organizations during June 2020 to determine what major challenges agencies are facing with re-entry and protecting their clientele from contagion and re-infections stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The NTG cooperated with both ACCSES and the YAI organization (in New York City), the survey partners, in managing the survey and with analyzing the results. The information gleaned helped to create policy and legislative recommendations to help with the problems encountered and to enable agencies to put into practice activities to protect their clientele.  The UIC CCTC Grant Project was also involved with this national survey.

To access the survey please click here.  The survey's results are available in a document at this page - Click here.  

CDC Component B Grant Project

In September 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the award of a five-year grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago for its 'Healthy Brain Initiative for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities' project.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (CDC-RFA-DP20-2003) National Healthy Brain Initiative’s Component B recipients are to support populations with a high burden of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) and to develop and implement public health strategies guided by the Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map Series.  As one of three national awards, the UIC Component B recipient, began its five-year project on September 30, 2020.  Its aim is to support people with intellectual disability and their caregivers by developing and implementing public health strategies to improve the quality of their lives. The project will also work to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRDs) among people with intellectual disability as a public health issue and support the needs of their caregivers.  The NTG is a partner on the grant and will collaborate in developing many of the materials which will be used as resources as well as bring into the project technical assistance on coping with COVID-19.  Information on the project is available at the HealthMatters Program website.