Disability in Focus: June 2019

People with IDD Need Accessible Diabetes Education and Care

“The doctor said I don’t have to check my blood sugar every day;  now I watch what I eat  and that helps a lot with my diabetes.”

In New Hampshire, adults with diabetes who have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) are less likely than adults without IDD to receive Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME). Many adults with IDD also do not get needed health care for their diabetes.

Diabetes self-management education (DSME) improves the quality of life of people with diabetes and helps prevent diabetes-related complications. 


Only 1 in 5 adults with IDD and diabetes gets DSME

Recommended diabetes care means seeing a health care provider regularly to check on blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, and for retinal eye exams. 


Only 1 in 5 adults with IDD and diabetes gets all recommended diabetes care

Strategies to Improve the Health of People with IDD and Diabetes

  • Offer accessible diabetes self-management education (DSME) and recruit adults with IDD to attend. 
  • Provide educational materials in plain language, and use multiple formats for user-friendliness. 
  • Educate health care providers about the need for better diabetes-related health care for adults with IDD. 
  • Create partnerships between people with diabetes, caregivers, health care professionals, and other support staff to develop person-centered plans to stay healthy. 


We want to hear from you! As always, we will use your comments to improve our work.

Sources: 2010-2014 NH All-Payer Claims Data; American Diabetes Association; National Committee for Quality Assurance.

​This content is solely the responsibility of the NH Disability & Public Health Project and does not necessarily represent the view of the CDC or US DHHS.