Oral-B and iADH announce new award programme

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New award programme by Oral-B and iADH champions disability-sensitive dental practices

The Disability Champions Award Programme was launched on 16 May to commemorate the 13th Global Accessibility Awareness Day. (Image: Oral-B)

Mon. 27. May 2024


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: As part of its ongoing mission to make oral care more accessible to everybody, Oral-B has recently launched the Disability Champions Award Programme. Developed in partnership with the International Association for Disability and Oral Health (iADH), the programme aims to create a more inclusive and positive experience at dental offices across Europe for individuals with disabilities and for their caregivers.

According to iADH, over a third of people with visible and non-visible disabilities feel anxious or frustrated when visiting the dentist. For instance, individuals with autism spectrum disorder may experience heightened anxiety in an unfamiliar environment such as a dental practice, as their normal routine is disrupted. Similarly, a patient with cerebral palsy who faces motor challenges might find it difficult to brush his or her teeth effectively owing to limitations in fine motor coordination.

Benjamin Binot announcing the launch of the Disability Champions Award Programme at Oral-B’s Championing the Perfect Clean for All event in the Netherlands. (Image: Oral-B)

To address these and similar challenges, the Disability Champions Award Programme encourages each dental practice across Europe to designate one member of the team as the personal lead. This person has the role of ensuring that the practice is committed to becoming more disability-positive by fostering a more enabling environment for treating individuals with disabilities.

By completing the necessary online training and accessibility suggestions developed by iADH and Oral-B, dental staff who meet the requirements will earn their “Disability Champions” award, represented by a badge that can be used in their office or on social media to encourage others to become Disability Champions. Their practice will also be listed on Oral-B’s website to make it easier for people with disabilities and their caregivers to find disability-positive dental practices near them and to feel more confident about visiting the dentist.

Benjamin Binot, senior vice president of oral care for Europe at Procter & Gamble, said in a press release: “Last year, we launched the Big Rethink initiative in partnership with iADH to rethink how Oral-B can make oral care more inclusive, accessible and positive for people with disabilities, their caregivers and everyone in between. This year, we are making our intention good by driving action amongst dental practitioners with the Disability Champions Award Programme. With our long-term partner, iADH, we have devised a programme that is straightforward for dental staff to undertake and promote and that demonstrates their commitment to raising the standard of oral care for people with disabilities.”

The new Oral-B iO2 electric toothbrush boasts revolutionary iO technology, which combines oscillation and rotation with micro-vibrations. (Image: Oral-B)

Prof. Pedro Diz Dios, president-elect of iADH, added: “At iADH, we are about promoting equitable oral care. However, we often find that dental practitioners have preconceived notions of what makes their practice inclusive, accessible and positive for people with disabilities and their caregivers. We want to help dentists rethink how to provide a better service for all and believe that appointing one person in the organisation to become a Disability Champion will help drive the right change forward.”

“The hope is that as many dental practices as possible across Europe take part in the Disability Champions Award Programme and make better oral care for all a reality,” he added.

The Disability Champions Award Programme was launched at Oral-B’s Championing the Perfect Clean for All global event in Amsterdam on 15 and 16 May, where the company previewed its new Oral-B iO2 toothbrush before a wider audience, which included people with disabilities.

More information about the programme can be found here.

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