The proposed project is designed to fill an extremely important yet unmet need by developing an alternative training mechanism that has the potential for reaching all personnel responsible for risk management and quality improvement in programs that provide services to persons with mental retardation/developmental disabilities (MRDD) and the public agency staff that oversee such programs. Pursuing this objective, the applicant organization, Praxis, Inc., and Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School will work together to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive training curriculum to provide knowledge and practical skills in the first of a series of on-line courses for training staff in the use of analytic tools for Risk Management in Developmental Disabilities (RMDD). The training curriculum will be an "anytime, anywhere" training program available to anyone with Internet access. The program, RMDD, is intended to meet the essential needs of public and private agencies to assure the health, safety and welfare of a very vulnerable population that is at increased risk of harm and that is being served in over 145,000 residential settings across the nation, a basic assurance all public agencies must meet to receive federal HCBS and ICF/MR funding. Course work will teach contemporary, evidence-based methods and procedures in RMDD specifically adapted to the unique nature of services directed at individuals with developmental disabilities. The product, RMDD will be a fully hosted, Web-based distance learning instructional program in which lessons will build upon one another, assisting learners to acquire a foundation of knowledge upon which more complex skill sets can be built. Learners who participate in RMDD will apply knowledge acquired through their readings to simulated or real life situations and adverse events that commonly occur in service settings serving the MRDD population. Self-assessments will be built into each module to help them accurately and systematically assess their skills and develop learning plans to improve when needed.
The proposed project and the resulting product will directly benefit individuals who provide services and support to children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The project has three major objectives: (1) to Design, develop, implement, and evaluate 6 new on-line training courses in risk management techniques and skills, (2) to develop a commercially viable software prototype, and (3) to evaluate the resulting program to determine the usability of the software and the effectiveness of the curriculum in teaching risk management skills.