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Strategies for the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities

NJID's newest program - #NOZika - is a bilingual awareness program that is designed to reduce the occurrence of developmental disabilities in children caused by the Zika virus.  This initiative was established in 2016 through a grant from the NJ Department of Human Services - Division of Developmental Disabilities.

#NOZika's target population is the Hispanic / Latino community which has close ties with countries from South & Central America and the Caribbean which are experiencing an epidemic of the Zika virus.

Community Based Program

The #NOZika Family Navigator is based at the Raritan Bay YMCA in Perth Amboy and will be working throughout the City of Perth Amboy and beyond.

Community Education

#NOZika's primary goal is to educate the community on all aspects of the Zika virus so as to help facilitate the prevention of developmental disabilities.  The program objectives include:
  • Increasing the public's general knowledge of the Zika virus
  • Developing prevention strategies and travel precautions
  • Presenting regularly scheduled information and training workshops within the community
  • Utilizing high levels of social media engagement
  • Distributing the most recent research findings regarding the Zika virus
  • Informing the public of the possible consequences which may come from acquiring the Zika virus

Innovative Outreach

Social media is a critical part of the #NOZika program.  Current platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope and others are utilized to connect the community with a stream of information.  To access information easily, the program is using an official hashtag of #NOZika that is used on all materials and social media.

These platforms also serve as a way for persons to ask questions and obtain links providing up to date research about Zika.  Periscope videos supplement training workshops by providing virtual sessions available outside of any regularly scheduled trainings.  Informational meetings and educational trainings also use current technology such as Kahoot! to provide education and awareness in a fun and engaging way.

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