Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Dr Shannon Maloney

Second Committee Member

Dr Anne Woodruff

Third Committee Member

Dr Shireen Rajaram


Individuals with developmental disabilities experience many barriers to healthcare and are at a substantially higher risk for sexual assault and trauma. There is a need for more inclusive and collaborative healthcare policies, practices, and education to guide healthcare providers during their encounters with individuals with developmental disabilities as patients, especially during forensic examinations following sexual assault and trauma. In the Omaha metro area, physical therapists at the Munroe-Meyer institute provide clinical services in a transdisciplinary program that refer victims of sexual violence to local health systems’ Sexual Health Nurse Examiners (SANEs).

There is an existing service gap for individuals with developmental disabilities in accessing and receiving individualized, evidence-based sexual healthcare. Addressing the service gap in this population’s sexual healthcare requires a plan to increase communication amongst healthcare teams and ensuring both patients and providers have support and education. Starting with an investigation of community needs and available resources, this research plans a training program for a comprehensive, patient centered training program for SANEs providing care and forensic examinations for individuals with developmental disabilities .