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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 and the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) 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 2022. 


Preventive Health Screening Recommendations

A How To Guide for using DDS’s Preventive Health Screening tools. 

Let’s Get Started (PDF)

Preventive Health Screening Checklists

This is a summary checklist for use by the self-advocate, family member, or support provider to help guide the discussion with the Health Care Provider (HCP) about which screening tests are recommended for a particular individual. This form should be completed prior to the individual’s annual visit. Staff should review the individual’s health record and check off preventive screenings that are likely due based on age, sex, and risk factors. These screenings can then be discussed with the HCP at the annual visit.

Preventive Health Screening Checklists are organized by sex (male or female) and age.

Female Overview Sheet: one-page overview of recommended screenings
Female Age 19-39 (Word)
Female Age 19-39 (PDF)

Female Age 40-64 (Word)
Female Age 40-64 (PDF)

Female Age 65-80 (Word)
Female Age 65-80 (PDF)


Male Overview Sheet: one-page overview of recommended screenings
Male Age 19-39 (Word)
Male Age 19-39 (PDF)

Male Age 40-69 (Word)
Male Age 40-69 (PDF)

Male Age 70-80 (Word)
Male Age 70-80 (PDF)

Guidance for Transgender Individuals

Educational Videos

Individuals should see their Health Care Provider at least once a year and get recommended health screenings. This can lead to a long and healthy life! These short videos are for self-advocates and families. These videos explain preventive health screenings, show how to advocate for yourself with the Health Care Provider, and give tips for preparing for the annual health visit and for screening tests.

What Are Preventive Health Screenings and Why are They Important to Me?

How To Advocate with Your Healthcare Provider for Preventive Screenings

Are Preventive Health Screenings Right For Me?

How to use the DDS Preventive Health Checklists

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.