Past Events

Mouth Matters: Disability and Oral Health: 2-Part webinar series

Oral health is an important health issue for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). A recent report from Special Olympics’ Special Smiles program found that about half of all the Special Olympics athletes in the U.S. were unaware that they had an underlining oral health issue. In Oregon, 2018 BRFSS data shows that fewer adults with disabilities visited a dentist within the past year compared to adults without disabilities and more Oregonians with disabilities (60%) have had at least one permanent tooth removed, compared to 33% of adults without disabilities.

This informative 2-part webinar series provides an opportunity to learn from people with I/DD, dental professionals and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) consultants, about oral health barriers experienced by people with I/DD, and what disability service providers and oral health providers can all do to help people with I/DD have successful dental visits and overall dental care.

Watch Session 1 webinar here

Primary audience: people with I/DD and other disabilities, their families and disability service providers support staff, and dental students. (Might also be of interest to dental hygienists and other dental professionals.)


  1. Understand oral health disparities experienced by people with disabilities;
  2. Develop strategies that can be used to stimulate oral health conversations;
  3. Learn about the relationship between oral health on overall health;
  4. Recognize and apply best practices in ensuring a successful dental appointment;
  5. Understand the basic rights for people with disabilities in oral health care services; and
  6. Learn about accommodations that are available for a variety of disabilities and how to request accommodations when making an appointment.

Watch Session 2 webinar here (To access the webinar please click the top bar dated June 10th, labeled “SoD-Mouth Matters Webinars." If you would like to receive CDEs, please visit this site to register for the course.)

Primary audience: Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Oral Surgeons, Dental Assistants, Denturists, Dental Lab Technicians, and Dental Front Office Staff 


  1. Understand oral health disparities experienced by people with disabilities;
  2. Change attitude and approach in working with patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  3. Recognize and apply non-discrimination practices for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  4. Learn and apply knowledge about providing physical accessibility, communication access and common accommodations for various disability situations; and
  5. Identify resources for available tax credits and deductions that support barrier removal and accommodation expenses.

This webinar series is brought to you by the University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities and the Oregon Office on Disability and Health within the Institute on Development and Disability at OHSU, the OHSU School of Dentistry, the Oregon Public Health Associations’ disability and oral health sections, and the NW ADA Center.

Presenter bios

Kathy Hunt, RDH ECPII - A Registered Dental Hygienist for 40 years, Kathy Hunt first began her work in public health in 2004 when she designed the first system in Kansas that provided preventive dental care in public schools, Head Starts, and health departments. She also was instrumental in developing, implementing, and directing a dental clinic within a small safety net clinic located in her local community. Since 2007, Kathy has provided oral health leadership for the Kansas Head Start Association, authored several oral health resource materials for pregnant women, young children, and adults with disabilities, serves as the Dental Program Director for Oral Health Kansas, and regularly collaborates with state organizations and agencies to use systems change to make progress on improving the oral health of all Kansans.

Michael Richardson, M.P.A. - Michael directs the Northwest ADA Center and provides technical assistance, training, continuing education, and technical consultation services related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal and state disability laws. He also co-chairs the Accessible Health Care Committee with the ADA National Network and often speaks on accessible health care topics such as effective communication for people with communication disabilities, and physical and program access to medical facilities, services, and programs. In addition, Michael provides cultural competency consultation and training in relation to interacting with people with disabilities and building inclusive programs.

Lori Killen Aus, EPDH, M.A. - Lori has been a practicing dental hygienist for almost 40 years. She has worked in private practice dental offices as well as served in public health settings, offering free preventive oral health care to the uninsured. In 2011 Lori began her own mobile preventive oral health practice serving those who lack access to care. Her business, Oral Health for Life, LLC, takes preventive oral care into care facilities and homes. Lori has a heart for working with those who have challenges and disabilities. Lori contracts with Exceptional Needs Dental Services and Prime Mobile Dental. As an adjunct professor for dental hygiene programs, Lori enjoys taking students on rotations, whether in care facilities or free oral health clinics. As a past President for Oregon Dental Hygienists' Association, Lori remains active on the board as well as holding a position on an advisory board for Mt Hood Dental Hygiene program. Lori received an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017 from ODHA and the Lynn Ironside Access to Care award in 2019.

Angela Weaver, M.Ed. - Angela is the Program Manager of the Oregon Office on Disability and Health (OODH) and has worked for the office for over 20 years. She works with key local, state and national partners to advocates for, and provides education on, the need for full accessibility and inclusion of, people with disabilities through policies, systems and environmental changes. She provides a variety of community-based health promotion and education training and workshops for people with disabilities, disability service providers and public health professionals. Angela also serves as: the Vice Chair of the Oregon Disability Commission; President of the Board of Directors for Inclusion Inc., a non-profit agency that provides case management services to adults with developmental disabilities; a member on the NW ADA Center's Advisory Board; and is a Robert Wood Johnson Leadership Fellow. Angela received her Master’s in Education: Special Needs from Colorado State University.

Kiersi Coleman - Kiersi Coleman is a self-advocate, and program consultant for the UCEDD. Coleman provides expertise for educational program implementation and evaluation. She is a student at Portland State University, and leads efforts across communities to improve the lives of people with disabilities, all while experiencing cerebral palsy herself.

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Complex Access and Communication: A 3-Part Approach for Emerging Communicators

The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and the Assistive Technology lab at Community Vision presents a three-part webinar series.

This webinar series will provide continuing education for professionals and caregivers to strengthen their skill set in utilizing augmentative and alternative communication methods. Webinar attendees will learn new techniques for supporting communication skills for individuals with complex communication needs.

Target audience: Families, Self-Advocates, and Providers across Disciplines

Accreditation: The School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit: Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. (Please note that credits are only available for participation in the live webinars.)

Session 1

When children or adults with complex communication needs (CCN) are not able to use their fingers for direct access to AAC systems, we need to consider alternative access modes. This session is an overview of alternative access for AAC. It will lay the foundation for the innovative 3-part approach for emerging communicators presented in Sessions 2 and 3.

Session 1 materials:

Session 2

Children with complex motor or sensory needs, who would benefit from AAC, have many challenges. Knowing where to begin and how to progress can be daunting. A three-step approach to building tools, which teases apart Participation, Access, and Language (PAL) will be discussed. We will discuss the rationale for the PAL approach and demonstrate the process through case studies, exploring how each of the three areas of PAL were addressed with each child. Examples will be provided of how the three areas, when given time to develop, can come together in a comprehensive, multi-modal AAC system.

Session 2 materials:

Session 3

Building upon the 3-part approach outlined in Session 1, we will look at specific tools and strategies in each of the PAL areas. A handout for organizing tools will be discussed in the context of a brief case study.

Session 3 materials:

Presenter bios

Kim Elliott, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP

Kim received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art from York University in Toronto, Canada and completed her graduate degree in Speech Language Pathology from Portland State University. She worked on the Assistive Technology Team at Randall Children’s Hospital. She also worked with adults at OHSU serving clients with ALS, Parkinson’s, Stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, and with developmental disabilities. Along with two colleagues, she began Assistive Technology NW (ATNW), a private practice where she focused on developing communication supports for children and adults with complex communication needs in a variety of community-based settings. She is now Co-Director of the Community Vision AT Lab in SE Portland. She teaches the graduate AAC course as adjunct faculty at Portland State University. She is also trained as a teacher of “Danceability,” a dance/movement approach that includes people of all abilities.

Carrie Luse, M.S.R., OT/L, ATP

Carrie graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2001 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Her education was primarily interdisciplinary, learning alongside physical therapy and speech language pathology students. Carrie is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and specializes in communication access, seating & mobility, and sensory integration. Her true passion is working with and learning from people with complex communication, mobility, and medical needs. She worked for almost ten years at the Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland, Oregon and was part of multiple interdisciplinary clinic teams. Carrie has served children and adults through her private practice at Assistive Technology NW, as well as consulting at the Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children and The Child Center.  Carrie teaches AT courses at Pacific University and guest lectures at Portland State University. Carrie is now co-directing the AT Lab at Community Vision. Carrie presents regionally and nationally on a variety of topics.

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Go Forward! Transition to Adult Healthcare Conference

This conference covered topics related to the transition of adolescents and emerging adults to adult-centered care. Topics covered include basic components of a smooth and prepared transition, psychosocial considerations, and legal issues related to decision making and guardianship.

Target audience was physicians, psychologists, and other healthcare providers (N.P., P.A., R.N., S.W., O.T.,P.T.) who work in both primary and specialty care settings with adolescents and emerging adults.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the Six Core Elements of Transition and apply these principles to the pediatric, adult, and family medicine/med-peds practice settings
  • Articulate the psychosocial aspects of emerging adulthood that patients and families experience during the transition from pediatric to adult care
  • Describe the legal and guardianship issues associated with young adults with cognitive and intellectual disabilities, and learn about relevant community resources

Presenters and Topics:

  • Essential Components of an Effective Transition Program– Reem Hasan, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Dr. Hasan received her M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. She completed her Internal medicine/Pediatrics residency at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 
  • Psychosocial Considerations for Emerging Adults with Chronic Conditions – Harpreet Nagra, Ph.D. Dr. Nagra received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. She completed her Pediatric Psychology residency at Oregon Health & Science University and her Chronic Illness fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University.
  • Legal Issues and Guardianship Considerations – Bob Joondeph, Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon. Bob Joondeph is a graduate of Case Western Reserve Law School and Brown University. He serves as a member the Governor's Task Force on Brain Injury, the Oregon Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Coalition, and the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities. Bob has served as Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon helping to transform systems, policies and practices across the state. He leads a team of lawyers and advocates who have helped Oregonians with disabilities keep their jobs, their homes, and their access to health care and education.

Event flyer

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