COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities
This list will be updated as we locate new resources that may be helpful for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Check back often to see what's new!
Go-to state disability resource: Tennessee Disability Pathfinder COVID-19 page. Pathfinder is prepared to take calls for disability-related questions, including through their multi-cultural program: 800-640-4636.
- Office of the Governor
- Tennessee Department of Health
- "Hospital Visitor Tip Sheet for Individuals with Disabilities Who Need a Support Person" - Some hospitals may have "no visitor" policies right now because of COVID-19. Here is what you need to know if you are a person with a disability who has to have a support person with you (like a direct support professional, caregiver or family member) in the hospital. Created by Disability Rights TN, The Arc Tennessee and the Council.
- Know Your Rights to Medical Care (TN) - A clear list of your rights when you visit a doctor or hospital, including who to call if your rights are not being respected. Adapted from national information by Disability Rights TN and the TN Disability Coalition. Also available as a text-only file
- “Each of Us Must Help Protect Our Community at This Time” - written for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities by Dr. Bruce Davis (TN Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ Deputy Commissioner for Clinical Services) for the TennesseeWorks blog
Tools for People Who Need Communication Support
- From the Council: COVID-19 Symptoms - Visual Checklist for people with disabilities - visual symbols and plain language choices for a person to answer about how they feel, with questions focusing on common symptoms of the virus
- From Vanderbilt Kennedy Center:
- Downloadable health care communication boards for people who have limited verbal communication (“Supporting Communication with Patients who have COVID-19,” from the Patient Provider Communication Network)
- Downloadable "Emergency Preparation 4 ALL Picture Communication Board" in English and Spanish (Temple University Institute on Disabilities)
- My Hospital Communication Passport by Stacey Braddish - a document with images and prompts you can fill out and bring to the hospital to tell people your medical history, your likes and dislikes, how to best support you and communicate with you. Also includes several pages of communication boards with symbols for lots of things you may need to tell someone in the hospital, like how your body is feeling and what you need (14 pages).
- My Health Passport for Hospital Visits by the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities - a document with images and prompts you can fill out and bring to the hospital to tell people about your medical history, your likes and dislikes, and how to best support you and communicate with you. (4 pages)
Plain Language Documents
- 8-page booklet written by self-advocates that answers questions like "What is COVID-19? If I am sick, when should I call a doctor? How can I not get it? What do I do if someone I live with gets sick?" Link to Spanish version. (Green Mountain Self-Advocates)
- "Words to Know about the Coronavirus" - 10 page booklet written by self-advocates that explains many of the words being used right now to talk about the virus and things we are being asked to do. (Green Mountain Self-Advocates)
- "What in the World is Going On? Plain talk for Pandemic Times”—this guide was created with Ivanova Smith, a self-advocate and civil rights leader in Washington State, with the support of our colleagues at the Washington Council on Developmental Disabilities. Addresses how life is changing because of community places closing and social distancing, and how people can find support from each other, what changes they can expect in coming weeks.
- “Plain Language Tips for Working with Staff During COVID-19” - Tips written by self-advocates. Includes checklists to help make sure your needs are met, you know how to stay safe, and you understand important words about COVID-19.
- "Talking about Change: A Story about the Coronavirus" - Easy read 13 page document that talks about how things may be changing right now and why; also gives questions to think about how you can cope with the changes and things you can still do to make you happy (Center on Human Development, University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, University of Oregon)
- A simple, easy-to-read web page that answers a few basic questions about COVID-19, such as "What is it, how do people get it, how can I stay safe, and what happens when people get it?" Can also be downloaded as a PDF file. (Brandeis University)
Social stories for children about coronavirus, using large, colorful pictures and simple text. These stories offer a great way to help kids understand what the disease is, how to help stay healthy, why school is out, and what might happen next.
- My Coronavirus Story (Easter Seals Illinois)
- My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus (Carol Gray)
- Social Distancing Social Story (Vanderbilt Kennedy Center)
Toolkits for families
A comprehensive, 60-page guide that includes action steps, printable social stories and visuals, and recommended apps and tools for supporting people with autism or other intellectual disabilities through COVID-19.
- A short (3:50) animated video with information about how coronavirus is spread, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you get sick. (Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Disabilities Services)
- What to know about COVID-19 - Brief 6 minute video with simple information for adults with disabilities who live in nursing homes, group homes or other places away from family about COVID-19, how to stay healthy, and how to stay in touch with people they care about. (Last minute of the video is about resources specific to New York; made by Disability Rights NY).
- A YouTube playlist of brief videos made by California self-advocates about how to stay safe from COVID-19 (California State Council on Developmental Disabilities)
- A YouTube playlist of brief videos from the American Association of Health and Disability about who is the most at risk of getting COVID-19, how to clean your wheelchair, and what social distancing is.
- Fun information from Wisconsin self-advocates, with tips about washing your hands, staying healthy, and social distancing. (Wisconsin Self-Determination YouTube channel)
- A short (3.50) video featuring Wisconsin self-advocates talking about 10 fun things to do from home online (Wisconsin Self-Determination YouTube channel)
- Library of American Sign Language resources about COVID-19, from the National Association of the Deaf
This Page Last Updated: May 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM