Virtual Event Will Gather Health Professionals, Policymakers, and the Disability Community to Discuss Improving Access to Oral Health Care for People with Disabilities

circle with AHEAD logo: Achieving Health Equity Through Access for All with Disabilities

NYU College of Dentistry will host “AHEAD: Achieving Health Equity through Access for All with Disabilities,” a symposium bringing together experts in the areas of health care advocacy, access, and funding at the state and federal levels for people with disabilities. The event will take place virtually on Oct. 2 from 8:45 am to 1:30 pm EDT.

Neil Romano, chairman of the National Council on Disability—a nonpartisan federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policy—will be the symposium’s keynote speaker. Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics; Anastasia Somoza, disability rights advocate and community liaison in the Disability, Civil, and Human Rights Division Office of New York City Council; John Kemp, president & CEO of The Viscardi Center; Stanley M. Bergman, chairman & CEO of Henry Schein, Inc.; and California Assemblymember David Chiu are also among the event’s speakers.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark law protecting people with disabilities against discrimination in many areas of life, including health care. While governments and other organizations have strived to create a more accessible world—including NYU College of Dentistry opening its state-of-the-art Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities in 2019—many with disabilities still face barriers to receiving care.

“We need solutions that enable individuals with disabilities to access and afford oral health care—and not just care, but high-quality, dignified, and coordinated care,” said Charles N. Bertolami, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU College of Dentistry. “NYU College of Dentistry is honored to bring together this esteemed and passionate group of disability, health, and policy experts to discuss how to create a more equitable health care sector for people with disabilities.”

A focus of the Oct. 2 symposium will be on the need to carve out a fair and sustainable funding policy for health care based on value. Other key areas of discussion for the event will be the family/provider relationship, the impact of COVID-19 on the disability community, and the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing access to care both locally and nationally.

The event is open to the public with registration. For a complete schedule of the event and to register, please visit the event’s website at A link to the Zoom webinar will be provided after registration. Reporters interested in attending should contact

Note on Accessibility: This virtual event requires an internet connection and computer or smartphone. Audio will be closed captioned. For questions or to notify us of additional accommodation requests, please email: by September 25, 2020.

About NYU College of Dentistry
Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit for more.

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