COVID-19 Update #CovidDisability

As BC rolls out its vaccination strategy, we have been receiving questions about the process and how the needs of people with intellectual disabilities are being addressed.

The BCCDC website outlines who will be receiving the first vaccines. People living in group homes (this includes people with intellectual disabilities) are among the first two groups to receive a vaccine, in February and March. We do not know at this time what that roll-out will look like and when it will begin but will send updates as we receive them.

Studies around the world have shown that people with intellectual disabilities are at higher risk for COVID-19 due to a variety of factors. The vaccine strategy in B.C. and Canada should address the unique needs of people with intellectual disabilities who are at higher risk, including:

  • Older adults with intellectual disabilities,
  • People with intellectual disabilities who have have underlying health conditions,
  • People living in congregate settings such as group homes, and
  • Staff supporting people who are at higher risk.

Easy Read Information About the COVID Vaccine

These easy read booklets give helpful information about the COVID vaccine in Canada. Visit the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD) website for more plain language information about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Other Resources

The UK-based Down’s Syndrome Association has also published a useful easy-read document about COVID-19 and vaccines. Note that some of the information is specific to the UK, where people with Down Syndrome are included on the priority list for vaccinations. Their Quick Guide on Decision Making is also helpful.

Our approach to advocacy is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which recognizes the full citizenship and human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kerridan Dougan, Advocate

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Together, we can break down barriers and create an inclusive world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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