Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Use of Cannabidiol (CBD) by Individuals with Disabilities for Medical Purposes

Editor’s note: VOR will add information to this page as it becomes available. Consistent with long-held (31 years) principles and mission, VOR supports the right of individuals with disabilities and their families to make informed treatment choices. We specifically take no position on the use of CBD for medical purposes, leaving that decision to the individual, her family and guardian. 

For more than 30 years, VOR has embraced the rights of ALL individuals with disabilities and supports a system that is responsive and respectful of individual needs and preferences.

Individuals with disabilities and, where appointed by a court, their legal guardians, should have the opportunity to make informed choices among all legally available options. They must have full and accurate information about their options, including what services and financial supports are available.

In that spirit, VOR offers this information on the use of Cannabidiol (CBD Oil) which may offer significant benefit to some individuals with disabilities suffering seizures or pain. VOR expressly does not take a position on the effect of CBD oil, but stays true to our long-held position in support of individual, family and legal guardian decision-making. 

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound in cannabis (“marijuana”) that may have medical benefits for some individuals but does not have the mood altering effect of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is also found in the cannabis plant.

Resources on the use of CBD Oil

Public Health Focus: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Marijuana

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban (LA Times, December 16, 2014) (Note: CBD Oil is legal in 10 States)

CBD and Epilepsy (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)

An Overview of Kentucky’s CBD Extract-Only Medical Marijuana Law 

Kentucky's Law

An Oasis of Care for People With Intellectual Disabilities

Source: New York Times, December 30, 2014

For years, parents like Ms. Kramer have struggled to find compassionate health care for their adult children with profound disability, among the most medically underserved populations in the country. They are told their children are not welcome: too disruptive in the waiting room, too long in the examining room — beyond the abilities of doctors who have no experience with intellectual disability.

“It’s been really hard to find anyone to even take him,” Ms. Kramer says. “Much less the experience when you go into a waiting room with someone as challenging as Trey.”

Now, though, Ms. Kramer has a place to go: The Lee Specialty Clinic, one of the very few free-standing facilities designed exclusively to provide medical and dental treatment — and a sense of welcome — to people with intellectual disability. A reception area with natural light and easy-to-clean cushions. Extra-wide halls. Scales designed to weigh people in wheelchairs. An overhead tram to lift patients into dental chairs.

Just as important, say the clinic’s co-directors, Dr. Henry Hood and Dr. Matthew Holder, is its staff, trained to understand what their patients and families have been through. For example, Dr. Hood says, parents will often recall being told at the last medical clinic “to get your son or daughter out of here, and don’t ever bring them back.”

Read full article here

Autism Treatment Network Dental Professionals' Toolkit

Many children experience a great deal of anxiety when visiting the dental practitioner’s office, especially those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Feelings of anxiety may be caused by a number of factors including a fear of the unknown, difficulties communicating one’s feelings, and reactions to sensory sensitivities. When children are unable to effectively communicate their feelings of anxiety, they may show uncooperative behavior.

Dentists may rely on a number of behavioral and environmental techniques to help alleviate anxiety and increase cooperation in the dental chair. In this guide designed for dental professionals, we discuss ways to help reduce children’s anxiety levels and increase compliance. It provides general and specific information that may help dental professionals better serve the needs of children with ASD. This tool kit is meant to be used in conjunction with other dental materials developed by Autism Speaks Family Services.

Download the Dental Professionals' Tool Kit (Free)

Health Care for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Toolkit for Primary Care Providers

Adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities face a cascade of health disparities. They often:

  • have complex or difficult-to-treat medical conditions
  • have difficulty accessing health care
  • may receive inadequate health care
  • may have difficulties expressing their symptoms and pain
  • receive little attention to wellness, preventive care, and health promotion

Yet these adults deserve quality, patient-centered health care as well as the general population.

Our hope is that this toolkit will give virtually every U.S. primary care provider electronic access to best practice tools, and thus will enable each physician to more readily serve adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities.

Toolkit for Primary Care Providers of Health Care for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative Helps People with Disabilities Find Health Insurance

American Association on Health and Disability
January 30, 2014

Navigators and other enrollment specialists can now access better information to help people with disabilities find health care coverage in the federal and state exchanges. The tools are cross-disability programs developed by the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC). The 12-month collaborative was made possible by a one-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The navigator website was launched December 1, 2013 at www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org. There is also an accompanying training guide, the Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators. The guide describes the barriers to health insurance people with disabilities have encountered in the past, how disability laws affect the marketplace, what navigators need to know about disability, and much more. It is available at: http://www.nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/ndnrc-materials/disability-guide/.

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