Introducing a new resource for people with disabilities seeking culturally competent oral health care in downstate New York.
Project Accessible Oral Health (PAOH) at The Viscardi Center, a global public-private partnership on a mission to provide equal access to high-quality oral health care for the disability community, is proud to announce the launch of an Accessible Provider Directory spanning the downstate New York area. The directory, which lists 29 accessible dental providers serving children, teens, and adults with a range of disabilities, is now available for download on the PAOH website.
People with intellectual and physical disabilities can face significant barriers to receiving adequate oral health care treatment, such as finding culturally competent dentists and accessible locations. PAOH brings together a consortium of people with disabilities, dental and medical professionals, corporations, organizations, policymakers, educators, caregivers, and other stakeholders in pursuit of greater awareness for accessible and affordable care, education and training for current and future dentists and hygienists, and improved health and wellness for all.
“Equal access to oral health care remains a widely unmet need for millions around the world, including individuals in New York,” says Executive Director Barbie Vartanian. “The goal of Project Accessible Oral Health at The Viscardi Center’s Accessible Provider Directory is to eliminate the guesswork for people with disabilities and their caregivers when searching for high-quality providers experienced in treating diverse needs in our downstate New York communities.”
The directory is one of several new initiatives expanding the reach of PAOH in New York thanks to funding from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. A complete toolkit currently in development will provide in-depth information on locating accessible providers, preparing for dental visits, and at-home care.
PAOH held its first screening event, “Take a Dental Health Day,” in partnership with the Nassau County Dental Society in the fall of 2018, assembling over 75 dentists, dental residents, dental students, and volunteers to educate and treat more than 200 individuals with disabilities. PAOH plans to resume its participation at annual educational seminars and dental screening events once it becomes safe to host larger gatherings.
About Project Accessible Oral Health
Under The Viscardi Center’s network of 501(c)(3) organizations, Project Accessible Oral Health is a global public-private partnership and the first to nationally assemble and connect a consortium of dental and medical professionals, corporations, organizations, policymakers, educators, people with disabilities, caregivers, and other stakeholders in pursuit of equal access to culturally competent oral healthcare. The Project’s mission is to act as a collective catalyst for change that will not only improve access to oral healthcare, but also ultimately improve the overall health of the disability community. Learn more at ProjectAccessibleOralHealth.org.
About The Viscardi Center
Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. Presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center educates, employs and empowers people with disabilities. It provides Pre-K-12 education, school-to-work youth transition services, vocational training, career counseling and employment placement, assistive technology, and adapted driver education to children, adolescents, and adults with a wide variety of disabilities. The Viscardi Center also assists businesses in advancing inclusive cultures in their workplaces.