The Tech-Aid Institute, Eugene, Ore, is launching a national campaign to educate people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities about how to protect themselves from germs, including the influenza A(H1N1).

Tech-Aid hopes to swiftly reach caregivers and people in this special population with their interactive CD-ROM, Live Smart Live Safe: Preventing Respiratory Illness. Samples of the program can be viewed online. A video DVD for group settings or at-home review is also available.

The CD-ROM and DVD are designed to help people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities do the following:
– Understand germs and germ transmission;
– Become more aware of cold and flu symptoms;
– Be able to monitor their symptoms with a digital thermometer; and
– Seek medical attention for cold and flu symptoms when appropriate.

"We feel a sense of urgency to reach this special population with this preventive software program because many people in this often-forgotten population could be extremely vulnerable to this fast-spreading influenza strain that has already taken some lives,” said Jennifer Wells, PhD, president of Tech-Aid, in an announcement. “We’ve already had outstanding feedback on how our interactive software programs are helping people with intellectual disabilities learn about how to protect themselves from germs and other viral pandemics like the HIV virus."

The Tech-Aid Institute focuses on promoting and developing the use of computer-based learning tools for people with intellectual disabilities. According to the company, Tech-Aid was one of the first companies in the world to start developing interactive CD-ROMs that focus on preventing respiratory illnesses for this population.