December 6th, 2017: Training Workers with Intellectual Disabilities about Health and Safety on the Job

Training Workers with Intellectual Disabilities about Health and Safety on the Job

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The employment rate of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities lags significantly behind that of the general adult population. When employed, these workers are some of the most vulnerable in the US — commonly employed in low-wage, high hazard industries, and occupations resulting in higher injury rates than their counterparts without disabilities.

Health and safety training is essential for helping workers develop the necessary health and safety skills that all workers need. However, there are almost no examples of training being provided to workers with intellectual disabilities, in a manner they can understand.

 In this webinar, Robin Dewey, MPH will demonstrate activities from the Staying Safe at Work curriculum which was developed by the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley and has recently been adopted and updated as a national curriculum by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

 Staying Safe at Work is a six-lesson curriculum that uses interactive and fun learning activities to teach basic occupational safety and health knowledge and skills which can apply across all jobs and industries, adapted to all learning needs. The curriculum is intended for supported employment agencies, community rehabilitation programs, high-school transition programs, and others that place in jobs or hire workers with disabilities. The curriculum and PowerPoint slides are downloadable for free from NIOSH’s website:


On completion of this webinar participants will be able to:

  •  Explain the health and safety risks found in workplaces where individuals with intellectual disabilities are commonly employed and examples of accommodations that can help protect these valuable employees from injury and illness on the job.
  • Name the basic health and skills (core competencies) that all workers, including those with disabilities, need to stay safe on the job.
  • Describe the learning activities presented in the Staying Safe at Work curriculum for teaching these basic health and safety skills.


Dewey, Robin, MPH, is the Coordinator of Public Programs at the Labor Occupational Health Program within the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Robin Dewey is an occupational safety and health educator with more than 30 years of experience developing and evaluating educational programs designed to address the workplace health and safety needs of a wide variety of audiences, including some of the world’s most vulnerable workers. She is seen as one of the few national experts in the promotion of workplace health and safety education for workers with developmental and intellectual disabilities. In addition to authoring reports and articles on this topic, she has developed a curriculum for educating workers with disabilities about health and safety on the job, called Staying Safe at Work. This curriculum has recently been adopted by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for national distribution. In her volunteer time she runs a non-profit, called Team Davis, which provides athletic (through Special Olympics), recreational and social activities to approximately 150 individuals with disabilities in and around Davis, CA.


Industrial Hygienists: ABIH® Diplomats may be eligible to earn up to 1.0 contact hours. Visit for more information.

Nurses: COEH Continuing Education Program (BRN Provider # 12983) has approved this webinar for 1.0 contact hours.