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Safe At Home Conference Addresses Risk Of Independent Living

At Monroe Community College, a conference called Safe at Home aims to help reduce injuries for people with developmental disabilities.

Molly Clifford is the executive director of Community Health Strategies. She says, more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are moving out on their own.

"The trend in the disabilities community now is for people to live in the most integrated setting possible, so there has been a huge sea change in the way people with disabilities are living."

Clifford says this is a really important shift in the right direction, but it comes with risks. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are four times more likely to be injured in an emergency in the home.

There are steps caretakers and family members can take, Clifford says, that might reduce those ricks by preparing people with disabilities for emergencies.

"Training is key and providing interactive education where they can role model safe behaviors, where there are cues in the home, whether there are interactive devices like computers-- there are some great new products out there -- but again just really understanding the risk and making sure that they use simple tools."

The conference was sponsored by a local non-profit Prevention First, MCC, and the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.