Given the ever changing status of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Pennsylvania, the country and the world, we offer some valuable resources below to address what may be the unique needs of individuals of all ages with disabilities.

 

Resources for All


AID in PA

AID in PA is a resource collection for Pennsylvanians in the autism and intellectual disability communities. The website is a joint effort between ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training) and the statewide HCQUs (Health Care Quality Units), and is designed to connect individuals with disabilities, families, professionals, and community members with resources that can best serve them in emergency situations. Current resources focus on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This link takes you to the website: https://aidinpa.org/

PA Department of Human Services Support & Referral Helpline 
Help is available if COVID-19 has you feeling scared, overwhelmed, or anxious.  Community-based resources are available to Pennsylvanians 24/7 by calling the Support & Referral Helpline 1-855-284-2494; 724-631-5600 (TTY)

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Resource Page
While county assistance offices are closed, this page highlights the many provider and citizen online services of DHS and related Coronavirus information from Pennsylvania’s response to the pandemic. Go to the resource page: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/providers/Providers/Pages/Coronavirus-2020.aspx

 

Plain Language Resources

 

ASSERT Health and Safety Guide, Video and Additional Resources
This page includes a guide and video in plain language information about keeping one’s self safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a wealth of other related information as well.  This link takes you to the page: https://paautism.org/resource/coronavirus-resources/


Coronavirus COVID-19 Video

The Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services created a short video that explains COVID-19 in plain language.



Plain Language Information on COVID-19
By Green Mountain Self-Advocates this 8 page booklet was created by and for people with developmental disabilities. It focuses on “need to know” information (not “nice to know” information).  Go to the booklet: https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plain-Language-Information-on-Coronavirus-accessible-.pdf

 

Additional Resources for People with Disabilities

 

Disaster Distress Helpline 
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ 66746, TTY for Deaf/Hard of Hearing is 1-800-846-8517 to get help and support for any distress that you or someone you care about may be feeling related to any disaster. The free helpline and Text Services are: available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round and is answered by trained crisis counselors.
– On the internet go to disasterdistress.samhsa.gov
Download a PDF brochure for Disaster Distress Helpline

 

Office of Developmental Programs COVID-19 Page
This frequently updated page includes all information from ODP regarding the Coronavirus. Go to the resource: https://www.myodp.org/mod/page/view.php?id=26808


Person Directed Services Toll-free Phone Line for Questions

PDS are home and community-based services that can help people of all ages, and all disabilities maintain independence and choose the supports they need to live their best life. Do you want to learn more? Do you already direct your own services and want to share your experience? Are you new to self-direction, or thinking about trying it and have lots of questions? Call toll free 1-833-346-5150 or email PDSS@temple.edu

 

Communication Supports from The Patient-Provider Communication Forum 
A free bank of communication supports to patients and their health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Includes various levels of communication boards and tools for those who have difficulty communicating in the hospital setting and regarding healthcare choices. Link to the resource here: https://www.patientprovidercommunication.org/covid-19-free-tools.htm

 

Covid-19 Core Communication Boards
collection of symbols used to communicate with medical professionalsTechOwls has created this free resource for medical communication. You can order a laminated board to be sent to you to use during communication with medical professionals regarding COVID-19. To read about and order the board go to: https://aaccommunity.net/2020/03/covid-19-board/

 

 

CDC Preventing Coronavirus in Sign Language
The resource below was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and describes several Coronavirus prevention tips in American Sign Language.

 

Community HealthChoices (CHC) Updates
The PA Department of Health Office of Long Term Living has an email Listserv to provide ongoing guidance and information on the CHC program, including on the COVID-19. Click here to go to Listserv Archives or to sign up: http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us/oltl-community-healthchoices.html

 

BULLETIN: Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease
From the Office of Civil Rights in Action, Health and Human Services (HHS), this directive outlines civil rights reminders for entities in their interactions with people who have disabilities during the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability in HHS funded health programs or activities. The directive reiterates that persons with disabilities should not be denied medical care on the basis of stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative “worth” based on the presence or absence of disabilities. Link to read the HHS directive: https://tinyurl.com/tezrys9

 

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) COVID-19 Resources
From NACDD, these resources include some multilingual resources. Link to NACDD page: https://www.nacdd.org/news/covid-19-resources/#more-5893

 

Resources for Families

 

The PEAL Center Coronavirus Resource page
Information and no-cost resources easily accessible to families.
Click to go to PEAL Center’s Page: https://pealcenter.org/peals-covid-19-resource-page/


Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students

The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance ensuring web accessibility for students with disabilities for schools utilizing online learning during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In addition, the Office of Civil Rights published a fact sheet for education leaders on how to protect students’ civil rights as school leaders take steps to keep students safe and secure. Go to the factsheet: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/ocr-coronavirus-fact-sheet.pdf


Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times

This booklet shared seven strategies support strategies are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty. Go to the booklet: https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/sites/afirm.fpg.unc.edu/files/covid-resources/Supporting%20Individuals%20with%20Autism%20through%20Uncertian%20Times%20Full%20Packet.pdf

 

 

Resources for Direct Service Professionals

COVID-19 Toolkit For Direct Service Professionals (DSPs)
From the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, this toolkit page is dedicated to supporting direct service professionals with self care information and additional resources for individuals. It includes a 3 part webinar series on self-care for DSPs and more. Link to DSP toolkit: https://nadsp.org/covid-19resources/