At Henry Schein, we recognize the advances that the health care sector has made to enhance access to care for people with disabilities. But more can be done. As we reflect on 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, we stand with all of our partners and supporters in our shared mission to help health happen, and will continue to create solutions that provide a healthier future for the disabilities community. Co-written by Neil Romano, Chairman, National Council on Disability, I published a LinkedIn article, entitled, "Accessible Care is Equal Care," to discuss the importance of providing equal access to high-quality health care for people with disabilities. To read the article in its entirety, click here.
Henry Schein will continue to work with National Council on Disability (NCD) to continue to advocate for people with disabilities. In December 2019, we signed a memorandum of understanding with NCD, and are working vigorously to:
To learn more about Henry Schein and National Council on Disability's plans to help further advance access to care for people with disabilities, read here:
National Council on Disability signs MOU with Henry Schein Cares to better educate medical, dental professional communities
As we look ahead at the next 30 years, Henry Schein will continue to work with our key partners, helping to find opportunities to educate dentists and medical practitioners in disability patient service competency, along with educate industry stakeholders in the dental and medical industries on equipment, services, and office designs conducive for serving patients with disabilities pursuant to the ADA.
Please read below to learn how some of our partners plan to help make a difference, and their insights into how far we have come, and how much more we can do, to create a healthier life for people with disabilities.
President & CEO, The Viscardi Center
"Happy 30th Birthday, ADA! The four pillars of the ADA, embedded in the legislation, are equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency, to the fullest extent possible for every person with a disability. The ADA brings us great hope that these promises will never be broken, that we will always lead fulfilling lives. More students with disabilities are earning high school and college diplomas but, sadly, our employment numbers have risen very slowly except for those employers, like Henry Schein, who hire for talent and compassion. From the built environment to the virtual environment, access has become so much better. We know our work is far from done, but the quality of our lives has improved dramatically, thanks to the ADA. And this is why we celebrate it every July 26th and, in fact, every day of the year."
Chairman, National Council on Disability
"People with disabilities have a long history of unequal access to, and discrimination in, healthcare which has resulted in large health disparities—as well as poorer health outcomes. Together with Henry Schein Cares, we can help equip and educate the medical and dental communities in disability competency, and create a greater understanding of the equal value of a life lived with a disability."
Executive Director, Project Accessible Oral Health
"For too long, the special needs community has been overlooked and underserved. On the passing of the ADA 30 years ago, it is important to recognize it as the most comprehensive civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees equality. That being said, there is so much more that has to be done to create awareness for the tremendous need to end the social injustice and ensure equity for the more than 57 million living with a disability in the United States. Project Accessible Oral Health is dedicated to improving equal access to competent oral healthcare through collaboration with key constituencies. Together we CAN create overall health equity and eliminate the disparities facing the disability community."
Chief Health Officer, Special Olympics
"At Special Olympics, we witness how health inequities impact our athletes each day. They have higher rates of obesity and suffer from poor hearing, vision, oral health, bone health and hypertension. Essentially, every major chronic condition is more prevalent in this population, and much of the morbidity and mortality is preventable, according to health data that we have been collecting over the last two decades. If patients are discriminated against based on their intellectual disability, the ADA equality provisions that advocates worked hard to set in stone, unequivocally fail. While the ADA has advanced the rights and opportunities for people with disabilities in many ways, clear health disparities indicate that more needs to be done for the health of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."
CEO, AHRC New York City
"Thirty years after the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act much has been done, largely through the tireless efforts of advocates, legislators and organizations, grounded in the belief that all Americans are fundamentally equal. Still, there is so much more we must achieve. Significant health disparities for people with disabilities remain evident nationwide. People with disabilities still have generally poorer access to healthcare than others and frequently lack the benefits of a high-quality, responsive, and integrated care model that is so important to physical, oral, mental and social well-being. Being perceived as 'different' does not make you any less of an American. We can simultaneously celebrate the ADA as a seminal social justice event in our nation's history, while also working collectively to broaden its impact as much as possible. This is the only way that we can ensure that the more-than 240-year-old American experiment provides opportunity for everyone."
Co-Founder, American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry
"In 2005, the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry documented and published that 81% of physicians graduating from American medical schools had never cared for a single patient with an intellectual disability."
"As we mark the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we must recommit ourselves to promoting the inclusion of curricula in our nations medical and dental schools, which is focused on caring for this profoundly underserved population of Americans."
Morton Amsterdam Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
"The Americans with Disabilities Act was a watershed legislation that helped mandate equity in all aspects of life for the persons with disabilities community. These options ranged from the entrance doors and sidewalks we walk through and the health resources available to all. That is where the job began, and we must be committed to equity for this growing community every day in dentistry and overall health!"
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs & Hospital Relations, NYU College of Dentistry
"In the 30 years since the ADA was passed, much has been done to advance disability rights—and more needs to be done. The NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities is helping by expanding access to dental care for people with disabilities and educating the next generation of dentists who will feel capable and competent to provide such care. We are pleased to join Henry Schein and other changemakers in working to achieve health equity for people with disabilities."
Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Chief Medical OfficerMidmark Corporation
"The Americans with Disabilities Act sheds much needed light on the idea that all human beings deserve equal access to everything available in society. Ensuring that all patients have equal access to expert healthcare is something Midmark takes very seriously, for many clinical ecosystems, including the oral care ecosystem within dentistry. We celebrate Henry Schein's advocacy alongside the National Council on Disability to drive new clinical innovation, educational programs and proper reimbursement pathways to ensure all patients get the care they need. The mission is a noble one and something Midmark is excited to help accelerate."