Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Help Us Raise Awareness During Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

In an effort to further our mission of ensuring a healthy smile for all, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation is working with other organizations to highlight President Reagan’s 1987’s designated Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month by providing easy-to-use marketing materials to raise awareness on this vastly unmet need in oral health care and connecting to the work of leading organizations in the space. A shocking 6.5 million people with different disabilities in the US cannot access the oral care they need and it’s affecting their overall health. It’s time to change that.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DDAM), observed annually in March, is a dedicated period that raises awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities and highlights the importance of inclusion, acceptance, and support for people with these challenges. During this month, various organizations, advocacy groups, and communities strive to promote understanding and address the unique needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. The overarching goal is to foster an inclusive society that recognizes the diverse abilities of all its members, promoting equal opportunities, access to education, employment, and healthcare for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Why is DDAM important to DTA Foundation

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month holds significance for the oral care community as it provides an opportunity to highlight the unique challenges faced by individuals with developmental disabilities in maintaining optimal oral health. People with developmental disabilities often encounter barriers that may hinder their ability to access regular dental care, leading to a higher risk of oral health issues. Therefore, the observance of this awareness month is crucial for several reasons within the oral care community:

Increased Awareness and Education

DDAM is an opportunity for the DTA Foundation to help raise awareness about the specific oral health needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. We support other organizations, as well as create our own educational materials that focus on providing information about common challenges faced by this population, such as difficulties with oral hygiene practices, sensory sensitivities, or communication barriers.

Promotion of Inclusive Dental Practices

The month-long observance encourages the oral care community to promote inclusive dental practices. This involves creating environments that are welcoming, accessible, and accommodating for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Collaboration and Partnerships

DDAM encourages collaboration and partnerships between the oral care community and organizations that specialize in developmental disabilities. By working together, we can develop and implement targeted initiatives, share resources, and exchange knowledge to improve oral health outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities. This collaborative approach helps create a more comprehensive and supportive network of care.