The CDC Launches COVID-19 Resources forPeople with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The CDC Launches COVID-19 Resources for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A toolkit was created for guidance on how to handle and ease fear for those who are disabled and their caregivers.

COVID-19 has been the hottest topic since March of 2020. However, have you thought of how it’s impacting those with certain disabilities? The pandemic created new, unique challenges for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). To address them, the CDC created the COVID-19 toolkit with communication resources explaining how people with IDD and caregivers can protect themselves.

“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can experience communication barriers that make it harder for them to understand and act on crucial health guidance,” said Karen Remley, MD, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “The aim of these materials is to help people with IDD, their parents and other caregivers share critical information with their loved ones about COVID-19 and what to expect when getting a COVID-19 test or vaccine and explain how to stay safe if they are not vaccinated.”

The CDC hosted multiple discussions to develop the toolkit with adults with IDD and their caregivers, most often family members, and asked them to share their individual experiences and what they found helpful in talking about COVID-19.

The toolkit contains social stories, videos, posters and interactive activities that focus on five topics:

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Wearing a mask
  • Social distancing
  • Hand washing
  • Getting tested for COVID-19

There is a tip sheet for caregivers that offers suggestions for things they can do to ease the person’s worries.

“Parents and caregivers work hard to help the person they support stay healthy and safe. These materials can help parents or other caregivers of people with IDD navigate important conversations about COVID-19,” said Remley.

For additional materials for people with IDD and their caregivers click here.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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