DDS Preventive Health Screenings for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Recognizing that regular preventive health screenings can help people with ID remain healthy and have a good quality of life, CDDER developed, piloted, and implemented systems and tools to enhance health care quality and communication. The centerpiece of this initiative was the dissemination of the MA DDS preventive health screening guidelines for adults with ID. These tools are for use by clinicians, staff, individuals, and families to understand the preventive health screenings that are recommended by age and diagnoses.

These guidelines were last updated in 2017. 


  • Brochure
    An easy-to-read brochure with preventive health screening recommendations, guidelines for communication, a list of common conditions that may be overlooked and resources for additional information.
  • Wallchart
    This handout describes in more detail, recommended screenings for various age groups or diagnoses. This can be used as a reference guide.
  • Preventive Health Screening Checklist
    This is a summary checklist for provider staff to complete prior to an individual’s annual physical. Designated staff would check off those screenings for which the individual is due either because of age or risk factors.

Computer Based Training

CDDER developed a computer based training course on Preventive Health Screenings for the MA DDS in 2012 to educate staff about the importance of preventive health care for individuals with intellectual disabilities, the need for regular preventive health screenings, and how to best advocate for these screenings. This course can be completed online, at anytime and takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. Certificates of completion are available. Register and view the training.

Ongoing Efforts

CDDER is part of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) working group on preventive health screening guidelines to develop a set of consistent guidelines across the United States. 
Health communication tools developed by CDDER have been modified for use in other state systems. 

© 2015 University of Massachusetts Medical School