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Programs dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention can empower individuals to make healthier choices and reduce their risk of disease and other illnesses. Promoting health can be seen in many specters as individuals with disabilities may suffer from different health issues; this can also be related to physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual health. However, understanding health conceptualization for people with developmental disabilities (DD) is essential as social, political, and economic barriers may affect other health relations. In order to achieve successful results in promoting healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities, different sectors should be addressed. (Marks et al., 2010), biological factors, socioeconomic and environmental factors, access to healthcare, also behavioral factors need to be considered (p.5). Developing accessible, comprehensive health promotion programs allows individuals with DD access to services available amongst health-related decisions, improving patient and professional strategies to ensure accessible support, lifespan support, health literacy skills, and caregiver support.
According to (Marks et al., 2010), “health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (p.11). Informative health programs can enable individuals with DD to become better aware of health concerns, keep up with appointments, become more informative, make healthier choices, and increase their quality of life. Different approaches can also be considered as health promotion programs can give people with disabilities a more visual outlook (such as pictures versus words) which can help them remember to take their medication, exercise, or express his/her health concerns; this can also help build empowerment and confidence to staying healthy. Lack of resources can also be a significant factor in accessing proper care, health programs, treatments, professional support, and knowledgeable base support.