American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry

48,452 supporters

The American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry (AADMD) is a non-profit, membership organization of interdisciplinary health professionals — including primary physicians, medical specialists, dentists, optometrists, nurses and other clinicians — committed to improving the quality of healthcare for people with intellectual & developmental disabilities (IDD). We make a difference through our membership, education & advocacy.

Started 2 petitions

Petitioning United States Department of Health and Human Services

Hospitals must not discriminate against patients with Special Needs who need a ventilator

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a ventilator scarcity, hospitals are forced to make difficult decisions regarding who will receive a ventilator and who will not.   There are allocation guidelines that suggest that the mere presence of a congenital syndrome, intellectual disability or developmental disability (such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida) may be reason to deny a person life-saving ventilator support. However, the spectrum of developmental disabilities and their myriad biomedical causes are too widely varied and too poorly understood by the general medical community to reliably be used as broad evidence-based predictors of life expectancy or the quality of life of an individual. Physicians who specialize in the care of patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), are painfully aware of the diagnostic overshadowing, discrimination and supervised neglect in the healthcare system that impact our patients routinely, even during times of relative resource abundance.  Therefore, we are unified in the position that the presence of an intellectual or developmental disability must not be used as a factor for determining life expectancy or quality of life and, furthermore, must not be used as an exclusion criterion for ventilator support or the allocation of other scarce medical resources. The same medical risk factors applied for other patients should be those considered for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry
1,416 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Health and Human Services

Hospitals Must Allow Caregivers to Accompany Patients with Special Needs

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the nation are prohibiting visitors. While this policy is sound to stop the spread of the virus, it presents hardships to a vulnerable population -- people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)/ Special Needs (such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X, and related complex disabilities with cognitive impairments). Many individuals with IDD have limited verbal communication skills, difficulties understanding consent/ care plans/ treatment, situational trauma with unfamiliar settings, low stress thresholds, and anxiety due to separation from known family members, friends, or staff. These limitations worsen when their Disability Support Professional (caregiver) or family member is prohibited from “in-hospital” support. 'No Visitors' policies may result in detrimental outcomes because vital bio-psycho-social information is not available to medical staff. Agency personnel and family caregivers who have this type of information can provide it stat when on site in the patient’s room or floor.  We recommend that hospitals provide reasonable accommodations in accord with the Americans with Disabilities Act in their visitor policies for persons who need support from known and acknowledged support persons (such as family, designated support personnel -- such as direct support professionals, or other designated caregivers).

American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry
47,036 supporters