235491 I Can Do It, You Can Do It: A Report of a Nationwide Mentoring Program of Physical Activity and Nutrition for Persons with Disabilities

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Robert Arnhold Jr., PhD , College of Health, Environment, and Science, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, PA
The purpose of this presentation is to describe and encourage conference participants to implement the I Can Do It, You Can Do It program which addresses physical activity and nutrition behaviors of children and adolescents with disabilities across nine nationals sites in the U.S. The I Can Do It, You Can Do It program is being evaluated at university sites (Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, New York, North Carolina, California, and Virginia), in special recreation centers in Utah, and in the third largest public school system in the U.S. (Miami-Dade Schools). This intervention meets a critical and emerging need as children and young adults with disabilities are at increased rates for development of secondary conditions including overweight and obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers due to sedentary lifestyles. The I Can Do It program utilizes mentors who are healthy adults who monitor, track, and lead programs of physical activity and nutrition education of children with disabilities. Typically, programs extend for eight-week programs in which physical activity and nutrition education programs are measured prior to and following participation. Activities take place in community-based recreation centers and the programs are client-centered and individualized. The I Can Do It, You Can Do It program includes an evaluation model to determine the efficacy of the mentoring community-based model. Preliminary results of the first two years of the program suggest that youth with disabilities significantly decrease BMI, improve healthy eating behaviors, and recommend the program to their peers and friends.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Attendees will be able to develop and duplicate mentor programs of community-based, client-centered physical activity and nutrition education for children and adolescents with disabilities. Attendees will be able to evaluate community-based, client-centered programs of physical activity and nutrition for children and adolescents with disabilities.

Keywords: Disability, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ph.D. in Adapted PHysical Activity
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.