Inclusive Health & Medical Advocacy Trainings

Over the past few months, our Inclusive Health & Fitness team along with SOMD Athlete Leaders have held Medical Advocacy Trainings. These trainings were aimed to target health professionals and health professional students to help understand what Inclusive Health is and the importance of letting individuals with ID be their own medical advocates.


The University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Inclusive Health & Interacting with Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Training was held on November 1st at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

This training was presented by:

  • Kayla Shields, SOMD Director of Inclusive Health & Fitness
  • Adam Hays, SOMD Athlete, Health Messenger, and SOMD Staff
  • Tymarin Ward, UMD SOD Student

This training was supported in the creation by:

  • Jason Schriml, SOMD VP Athlete Leadership
  • Mackenzie Irvin, SOMD Senior Director, Inclusive Health & Fitness
  • Special Smiles Clinical Directors: Sheryl Symes and Sydnee Chavis, University of Maryland School of Dentristry

Kayla, Adam, and Tymarin presented to approximately 100 UMD dental students, professors, SOMD staff, and representatives from Special Olympics International health team.

Training Objectives

  • Help dental health professionals understand how to interact with people with IDD
  • Incorporate inclusive patient care into daily practices
  • Improve communication between patient and dental professionals
  • Identify different health disparities in patient population

There was AMAZING collaboration between all parties involved with creating the training and we cannot wait to make this a yearly training that is embedded into the dental student’s curriculum.


University of Maryland School of Social Work

Inclusive Health & Medical Advocacy for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Training was a virtual presentation on December 2nd via UMD SSW Thurz Lecture Series.

This training was presented by: 

This training was presented by:

  • Kayla Shields, SOMD Director of Inclusive Health & Fitness
  • Adam Hays, SOMD Athlete, Health Messenger, and SOMD Staff
  • Faith McLuckie, SOMD Athlete, Health Messenger, and Athlete Leader

This training was supported in the creation by:

  • Jason Schriml, SOMD VP Athlete Leadership
  • Mackenzie Irvin, SOMD Senior Director, Inclusive Health & Fitness

This presentation was a two-part lecture series that worked with the DREAM Team at the SSW who presented an Abelism 101 presentation prior to our presentation. Presented virtually to over 160 social work students and social work professionals currently in the field.

Objectives Covered

  • Learn about Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
  • Learn about the history of healthcare for those with IDD
  • Look at the Health Disparities for those with IDD
  • Identify various barriers to good health
  • Learn about Special Olympics Health and Inclusive Health Practices

The virtual training showed great partnership, great collaboration, and was an overall great presentation!