In one way or another, the contagion of COVID-19 virus has affected everyone. It is the first pandemic and public health crisis we’ve faced in modern history, and we’ve all had to grapple with the burden and risks it has brought upon globally. Its negative societal implications have been magnified in many situations as seen through the lens of people with disabilities, and these repercussions have been exacerbated even more in nations experiencing armed conflict. Because this particularly vulnerable group of people has a wide range of conditions and limitations, people with disabilities have faced significant obstacles throughout the pandemic. They may, for example, be at a greater risk of acquiring the virus due to underlying health issues, have difficulty participating in countermeasures, or incur instabilities to disability support services they depend on.
People with disabilities, who already experience everyday struggles such as barriers to community mobility, lack of access to healthcare, disability services accommodation or other core support, and a higher risk of depression, may confront additional challenges in the context of this distress.
The Distinct Impediments People with Disabilities Experience in Trying Times
For persons with disabilities, daily life and access to disability support services have gotten worse during the pandemic.
The following are some of the uncommon or distinct impediments that many people with disabilities are confronting in the midst of COVID-19:
- Disinclination of wearing facemasks attributable to health risks
Due to an impairment or medical condition, certain people may be unable to wear a normal surgical or procedural mask. When the face mask interferes with an individual’s ability to breathe, aggravates signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, causes tension, feelings of fright, or extreme anxiety, or creates a communication barrier by impeding lip reading, these are all examples of potentially dangerous situations. In a circumstance that poses a health risk or is not safe, no one is obligated to wear a face mask or covering.
2.Unfavorable repercussions of social isolation
While the guiding principle during the pandemic has been to restrict interaction with others as much as possible, this can be complicated for those who need disability support services or core support; those with physical and sensory disorders requesting disability services accommodation; and those with mental health problems struggling in disconnection.
3. Lack of proper of telemedicine services
Telehealth tools may not be congruent with certain interventions, such as screen readers, for those who are blind or visually impaired; the methods may be cumbersome for those who have intellectual disability; and for those who are profoundly deaf, accessing information through American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and/or transcribing may be inaccessible if not organized in beforehand.
Following pandemic procedure is crucial for people with disabilities who want to mitigate overall health risks. Mobility aids like walkers and wheelchairs, as well as any other sort of assistive device, should be sanitized on a constant basis, especially if they are used outside the residence. Clean high-touch surfaces, smartphones, and other equipment, as well as prioritizing hand cleaning.
During COVID-19, finding certified personal care attendants to assist with daily duties may be more difficult. As a result, having a backup plan in place is critical. Create a contact list of friends/family, local community agencies, and health care providers who can assist in the event that the client or their support person becomes unwell.