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New AACs report highlights effects of pandemic on I/DD community

May 14, 2020

A young white man wearing a face mask and a puffy coat crosses a city street in a wheelchair at night

In April, the Adult Advocacy Centers sent out a survey to assess just how much the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Ohio. A total of 134 people responded, and the results have now been gathered in a new report titled COVID-19 Needs Assessment.

Among the findings:

  • The closure of day programs impacted 70% of respondents, leading to increased reports of depression, anxiety and isolation;
  • Thirty-two percent of respondents have had problems with staff coverage;
  • Most respondents reported that their personal care attendants are taking additional precautions, including increased handwashing, temperature readings, sanitizing surfaces and wearing gloves; and
  • Forty-six percent of respondents reported healthcare and medical services as their greatest worries.

The report also suggests ways those who serve people with disabilities can help them be better prepared, including reasonable stockpiling of items like sanitizer, hygiene supplies, first aid supplies, medications and food items with a long shelf life. Contact information for organizations that can provide help is also included.

The Adult Advocacy Centers would like to thank consultants Shari Cooper and Adonna Wilson-Baney for their work on this project. We are also grateful to the many self-advocacy groups who helped us spread the word about the survey and to all of those individuals who took the time to participate and give us the best possible data.