Healthy Lifestyles For People with Disabilities

Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities is an evidence-based health promotion program that takes a holistic approach to health. Designed by and for people with disabilities, this program is committed to providing individuals with the tools and skills needed to live a healthy lifestyle.

People with disabilities live and work like people without disabilities, facing the same stresses and challenges of today's fast-paced living. However, they also deal with limitations caused by their individual disabilities. In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, it is important for them to know their bodies, as well as their individual needs, strengths and limitations. Since people with disabilities wrote the curriculum, this program contains insightful ideas and suggestions from those with real life experiences. This program is not about giving people a list of what they have to do to be healthy;it is designed to help people with disabilities develop confidence and skills to stay on a journey towards a healthy, independent, and happy lifestyle.

Keep up with the latest news!

Keep Track of our latest news by visiting our Healthy Lifestyles Workshops Facebook page

Program Components


The Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities curriculum is unique for several reasons:

  • It was developed by people with disabilities
  • It is scripted, making it user-friendly and easily implemented
  • It includes clear preparation and implementation instructions
  • It can be delivered using a schedule that best meets the trainers' and the participants' needs (e.g., the curriculum can be delivered over three  days, or it can be integrated into other programming and activities over the course of several weeks or months).


Become a Certified Lead Trainer

In order to implement the Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities curriculum, interested parties must be certified as a "Lead Healthy Lifestyles Trainer" by attending a Train-the-Trainer event. These trainings are delivered in a format similar to the Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities workshop, in order to give trainees a firsthand, experiential feel for how the workshop is administered. Trainees gain an in-depth understanding of the program's philosophy, curriculum and supplemental materials.  

Who can become a Certified Lead Trainer? 

You can if you meet the following qualifications:

  • Have a disability or have experience, knowledge, or a family member with a disability or
  • Are an individual with or without affiliation with a disability agency, state or local health department, community center, or a senior center and
  • Have attended and satisfactorily completed the Training program and
  • Plan to conduct a Healthy Lifestyles workshop and support groups in the next 12 months

How can I become a Certified Lead Trainer?

There are three options to become a Certified Lead Trainer by completing the Healthy Lifestyles Training program: (1) out-of-state, (2) in-state, and (3) online.

  1. Out-of-State Two Master Trainers will travel to your out-of-state location and provide an in-depth, 3-day training on the HL program for up to 25 individuals. In some instances we offer a 2-day training. The training is delivered in a format similar to an actual Healthy Lifestyles workshop, but with additional time for debriefing and discussion. This approach has proven to be very successful because it replicates the 'feel' of an actual workshop.
  • Expenses include: transportation, lodging, meal per diem, and stipend for the Master Trainers; catering for the event (if applicable); a HL curriculum for trainees; and other supplemental supplies. Costs can vary depending on location and number of trainees, but typically costs between $6,000 and $7,000. A more detailed budget is available upon request. 
  1. In-State Twice a year we conduct a three-day training in Oregon which is conducted by two Master Trainers. The T-the-T event is delivered in the same way as mentioned above for the Out-of-State training. There is a limit to the number of out of state individuals who can attend and participation is on a first come, first serve basis. The cost of training is $300 per person. This includes instructional fee, the HL curriculum or trainer's guide, meals provided at the training, and all supplemental training materials. Training participants will have to make arrangements and pay for their travel, lodging and meals.
  2. Online Twice a year a Master Trainer conducts an 8-hour online HL T-the-T event. Attendance to all four, 2-hour sessions is mandatory for certification. The days and times of the training are dependent on the availability of the trainer and trainees. The cost of the training is $150 per person or $125 per person for an agency registering a minimum of 4 staff; and $100 per person for each additional staff person sponsored by the same agency. The cost of the curriculum is an extra $75 for printing and shipping (curricula are purchased directly from a printer in Oregon). There is also the option to purchase supplemental materials to assist with the nutrition related activities for $50 (includes shipping).


The Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities workshop is an educational, supportive and fun learning opportunity. The workshop embodies the self-determination model and provides participants with the opportunity to develop friendships, learn from one another and obtain the skills and tools they need to:

  1. Evaluate their current life situations;
  2. Identify areas in their lives they would like to improve; and
  3. Make positive changes in those areas.

The steps to achieving the workshop goals are laid out in four sessions. In sessions one and two, participants define a "healthy lifestyle" and identify values that are important to them. In session three, participants learn about the components of a healthy lifestyle and identify the areas that they would like to change in order to move towards a healthier lifestyle. Finally, in session four, participants learn how to make positive changes in these areas by using a goal-setting process.

The Healthy Lifestyles workshop has two components. First, the workshop is delivered across three consecutive days (or in whatever format works best for the sponsoring agency) and, secondly, six-months of 2-hour follow-up support group meetings is offered. The support group meetings allow participants to share their progress on their personal healthy lifestyle goals, as well as resources, strategies and successes. They also include presentations on topics that the participants have expressed interest in (e.g. stress management, nutrition, Tai Chi).