The EMPOWER study, led by Dr. Vanegas in collaboration with self-advocates and caregivers, aims to investigate and describe the healthcare transition readiness of racially and ethnically minoritized youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their caregivers. This endeavor seeks to uncover gaps in knowledge and skills related to healthcare transition for these marginalized populations. The project’s objectives include forming a community advisory board, assessing healthcare transition readiness, identifying person-centered outcomes important to youth with IDD and caregivers, and evaluating the usefulness of healthcare transition readiness resources.

Anticipated outcomes encompass the recognition of critical gaps in knowledge and skills, the identification of person-centered outcome priorities, and the evaluation of the utility of existing resources. The project will produce outreach materials, culturally responsive outcome measures, comprehensive resource recommendations, and peer-reviewed research to support improved healthcare transition experiences for racially and ethnically diverse youth with IDD and their caregivers.