Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 Resources for Persons Served

Resources for Discussing COVID-19 with Individuals with Disabilities

Research on COVID and People with Disabilities

COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries With and Without Disabilities in United States: CDC published an MMWR on COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries With and Without Disabilities in the United States from January in 2020 to November in 2021. 

Persons with disabilities are at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19, including death. COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates among disability-eligible Medicare beneficiaries (3,148 per 100,000) were approximately 50% higher than rates among age-eligible (i.e., ≥65 years) beneficiaries (2,129 per 100,000), and hospitalization rates increased by age in both groups. Among persons with disabilities, American Indian or Alaska Native persons experienced the highest rate of COVID-19–associated hospitalization (4,962 per 100,000). Efforts to increase access to and implementation of COVID-19 prevention and treatment strategies, including vaccination, are critical to reducing severe COVID-19–associated outcomes among persons with disabilities.

COVID Impact on People with Disabilities

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research has released a new report, “Impact of theCOVID-19 Pandemic on People with Disabilities.”  The report found that people with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the hardships of the pandemic. Adults with physical disabilities from marginalized communities, such as seniors, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic people, and residents of homeless shelters, were overrepresented among U.S. COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization. Additionally, people with disabilities were especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 recession, since many are less likely to have an emergency savings fund, access to paid leave, or be able to work from home.The full report includes studied impacts on community engagement and participation, rural communities, telehealth usage, education services, and employment and return-to-work accommodations.

Click to view the full ACL report.

9/10/21: New COVID Resources from CDC for Individual with Intellectual / Develpmental Disabilities

As the latest surge renews concerns about COVID-19, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking steps to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities understand and protect themselves against the virus by introducing a series of resources specifically aimed at this population.

The new offerings include a toolkit with social stories, videos, posters and interactive activities. The materials address five topics — getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and getting a COVID-19 test.

In addition, the CDC has released a tip sheet for caregivers to help them ease worries about COVID-19 and one for health care providers to guide discussions about the virus with patients who have disabilities.

8/19/21: Webinar - Public Benefits During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major changes to public benefits.
Most recently, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and policy changes at the federal and state level have greatly shifted the benefit landscape. An upcoming webinar will be presented  offers you an opportunity to learn how these changes affect the people we serve.  The webinars require registration, and will be offered August 19 from 1 - 4 PM, and August 26 from 9 AM - Noon.  The presenter will be Michael Dialto, Senior Associate with Griffin-Hammis Associates, has delivered training on disability benefits from Social Security and related work incentives for over 30 years.

Click to view a description of learning objectives, and links to register.

Secure Your Financial Future: A Toolkit for Individuals with Disabilities

Due to COVID-19, many Americans find themselves out of work, with reduced hours, and/or working remotely. As a result, large numbers of people—including those with disabilities—must make employment-related decisions based on new financial situations.

In response, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) collaborated to develop a Financial Toolkit for people with disabilities and others experiencing new levels of financial stress and unemployment as a direct result of the pandemic. The comprehensive Toolkit provides critical financial engagement/literacy considerations and is designed to be used by anyone, regardless of where they are in the work life cycle.

Click for additional information, including a link to the toolkit.

Vaccine Considerations for Individuals with Autism

The Autism Alliance of Michigan has developed resources that can assist with strategies for successful vaccination experiences for individuals with autism and clinicians who are administering the COVID vaccine.  A short video and accompanying handout provide information on how autism spectrum disorder may present in persons being served at vaccination clinics, and offer helpful strategies for making the experience less stressful for patient and provider alike.

Click to view the video.

Click to view the accompanying handout.

Accessible COVID-19 Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted "Easy-to-Read COVID-19 Safety" resources on its website and American Sign Language (ASL) videos on COVID-19 on its YouTube channel. These resources were developed by the COVID-19 Accessible Materials and Culturally Relevant Messages for Individuals with Disabilities Project, led by Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation, and funded by the CDC Foundation. The project delivers COVID-19 information in Braille, ASL, simplified text, and other alternative formats to people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.

Personal Protective Equipment and Persons with I/DD

Although people might be getting a little weary of hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still a very real issue and we need to remain highly vigilant. That includes wearing protective equipment when appropriate. When should masks be worn and how do you safely put them on and off? The World Health Organization (WHO) offers simplistic and helpful demonstrations and explanations regarding masks.

It is difficult for many people to wear these articles. If a person wears glasses and the mask is not put on appropriately, it steams them up. Or, the mask slips down on the face and it must be retied or adjusted. It could just feel very odd so that people are constantly trying to adjust it for comfort. Maybe the person is claustrophobic and has a feeling of suffocation if they can’t breathe in fresh air. What if the person with I/DD is fabric-sensitive, smell or touch sensitive? What if they are simply noncompliant? These are challenges that support persons are dealing with every day.

HRS Inc., an organization with a focus is on developing tools and training for the person-centered support of vulnerable populations, recently developed a list of tips that may be helpful.  Click to view the article from HRS that includes this list.

TransCen Issues PSA for Persons Served on Coronavirus

TransCen Inc. has developed a Public Service Announcement consisting of a short video - an overview of what everyone must know about the coronavirus, what people can do to stay safe, and why it's important to stay home.  The 5-minute video, titled Clear and Simple: Coronavirus COVID-19 Safety Guide, may be useful in supporting persons served to better understand the impact of the virus and the importance of health and safety precautions.

Click to view the TransCen video.


COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities

This 8-page booklet about the Coronavirus is written in plain language. It was created by and for people with developmental disabilities. It focuses on “need to know” information (not “nice to know” information). 

Click to view. 

Plain Language Tips For Working With Support Staff During COVID-19

Tips written by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Click to view.

Words To Know About the Coronavirus in Plain Language

These are words you may be hearing or seeing due to the Coronavirus outbreak. These definitions were written by a team of self-advocates and their aspiring allies.

Click to view.

COVID-19 Disability Form

Preparing Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities for Medical Treatment at Hospitals

Click here to view.

Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center COVID-19 Materials

Financial Resilience Center

The National Disability Institute (NDI), which manages the ABLE National Resource Center, has launched a new set of resources to help people with disabilities and chronic health conditions respond to the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. NDI describes its new Financial Resilience Center as "an online hub to answer frequently asked questions about: COVID-19 Stimulus, Employment and Unemployment, Public Benefits, Money Management, Housing, Food and HealthCare, Scams, and more."

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Curated page of the Most Current Updates and Resources impacting Provider Services and Business Operations

Vaccine Information

Resources for Reopening

Mental Health Resources

Advocacy Center and Action Alerts

Additional Members Only Resources

Curated List of Grants

COVID-19 Community of Practice

Relevant Incompass Michigan Member Updates, Info Alerts and Webinars