Communication & Health Advocacy Training (CHAT)

People with developmental disabilities (DD) learned more about health. They also learned how to talk with doctors and their direct care staff to get the care that they need.

Grantee: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Project Dates: 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2020

Areas of Emphasis: Healthcare

Award: $199,999

Match: $66,906

VCU based this project on the very successful project called Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention (LEAP). The LEAP project was also funded by our Board. The current project is called Communication & Health Advocacy (CHAT). Through CHAT, VCU trained service providers. Service providers took this training and decided the best way to help the people with DD that they serve. The providers supported people with DD to make their own healthcare choices.

During this project, 230 people with DD learned how to be more involved and make choices about their own health. VCU made a guide aimed at direct support providers and family members titled “Let’s CHAT about Health!” This guide helps family members and other people to support healthy choices. VCU also made a one-page tip sheet for health staff. These tips tell health staff how to create a partnership with their patients with DD. This empowers people with DD to become more involved in their own healthcare.