Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2016


Worldwide Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Occupational Therapy


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Elena Donoso Brown

Committee Member

Ann Cook

Committee Member

Jaime Muñoz


Many individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) live in social isolation and rarely participate in programs offered in their local community. Environmental barriers, such as the limited knowledge and skills of some staff who work with these individuals and the negative attitudes members of the community have towards those with I/DD, limit the participation of this population. During the summer of 2016, this capstone project was completed at the Greater Plymouth Community Center (GPCC). Developing Your Community Toolbox is an educational program designed for GPCC staff and members. The goal was to increase the staff’s ability to support individuals with I/DD and to reduce any negative stereotypes community members may have of people with I/DD. Education was completed using online and face-to-face educational sessions to provide staff and members information on individuals with I/DD. Full time staff participated in a six week online training program with a face-to-face wrap up. An additional hands-on role modeling component was used with summer camp staff to help them implement a variety of behavioral management techniques with campers. Members had the opportunity to participate in four different sessions to learn and interact with individuals with I/DD. The results of this program found that the use of online, face-to-face, and role modeling components helped to increase staff and members’ knowledge of certain topics related to individuals with I/DD. All staff who participated in this program felt that the topics covered in this training were informative, relevant and appropriate. Further research needs to be conducted on the effects educational sessions have on staff’s ability to support individuals with I/DD as well as members’ attitudes of those with I/DD.