Self-Advocates/Family Advocates as Medical Educators (SAME-FAME)

Collaborative Teamwork with Patients with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Family Caregivers

About the Class

Currently in development, this interdisciplinary class will teach healthcare students basic information about patients with I/DD, family caregivers, and the systems that shape their lives and experiences across the lifespan. The course is intended to strengthen students’ skills in working collaboratively with patients with I/DD and family caregivers as part of the healthcare team. The course will also provide students the opportunity to consider societal attitudes towards diverse people with I/DD and families and the impact of those attitudes on healthcare.

Self-advocates and family advocates will play a key role in planning, presenting, and evaluating the program.

Why Teach this Class

People with intellectual/developmental disabilities experience higher rates of illness and chronic health conditions such as diabetes and chronic pain (unrelated to their disabilities) than people without I/DD. Despite their high rates of illness and chronic health conditions, people with I/DD are less likely to receive preventive care, screenings, or be involved in public health promotion programs. 

Family caregivers, including parents, grandparents, and siblings, provide intensive life-long support and care across the lifespan for many adults with I/DD. However, many healthcare professionals have little training in integrating family caregivers of adults with I/DD as part of the healthcare team.


Course development is funded through a seed grant from OUHSC Interprofessional Educators and Practitioners Association.

For more information contact:

Ellen Bannister, Academic Programs Coordinator