No Longer Ignored
In 2000, it seemed that people were no longer to be ignored and would be provided basic health care. Congress passed the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, in which they claimed "sufficient and appropriate medical and dental services" was a basic right of all. And yet eight years later, the General Accountability Office issued a report encouraging states to conduct mortality reviews for people with intellectual disabilities. Too many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities had continued to die from poor healthcare as the nation closed institutions.
Children with disabilities are served well in most communities. But after they are adults, the challenge of obtaining healthcare grows along with their age. Adults with developmental disabilities do not have access to care and their lives are diminished and disrespected. Clinicians are not trained appropriately to treat this population. Most medical professionals believe this population is not their area of expertise and thus some else's responsibility. State Medicaid agencies will still fund 100% health care in an institution but will not provide adequate adult dental services and continue to wait list people for decades who live in their community.
These are the issues that are facing adults with intellectual disabilities. People are wait listed for decades for simple dental procedures. Which become complex dental procedures. Which become life threatening. People are dying, because adults with intellectual disabilities are an underserved population, and it is time for that to change.
The American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) is calling for medical professionals across multiple disciplines to rise up and speak, with one voice, for change. Please join us for our annual conference, which will be held in Seattle during the national Special Olympics games. Be a part of the joint session between AADMD and Special Olympics, where we are calling for inclusion of people with ID in the workplace, as well as addressing the complex health insurance issues that face the employer. Collaborate with clinicians across the nations in multiple disciplines who have chosen to work with this population.
Join us, in one voice, as we ignite change.