The DECOD Program at the University of Washington is a special program of the School of Dentistry that prepares dental professionals to meet the special oral health needs of persons with disabilities.
DECOD´s three main objectives are to: train dental professionals, including dental, dental hygiene and dental assisting students, in care of persons with disabilities; provide a community service to persons with severe disabilities that has difficulty receiving adequate care, conduct research in this field.
The patients served by DECOD span all age groups. Approximately 60 percent have severe developmental disabilities (mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism), the remaining 40 percent have extensive acquired disabilities (e.g. spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric disorders).
DECOD includes several special clinics in the School of Dentistry and at extramural sites:
- pediatric, for children with disabilities
- rehabilitation for those in vocational training and independent living program
- geriatric, for elderly with disabilities
- a mobile dental service, for residents of long-term care facilities and the homebound