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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

May 29, 2020

Accurate and current information about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on these websites:

1. WA State Department of Health (DOH)

For a full list of resources, a summary of the risk to the general public, and regularly updated DOH news releases, visit the website for the WA State Department of Health (DOH). Specific information about testing can be found here.

WA DOH also has COVID-19 related educational materials in 26+ languages available here.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn about symptoms, how COVID-19 is spread, and prevention tips which are disability-specific.

3. Food Bank Locations

Find a food bank near you by visiting Foodlifeline.org

NEWS UPDATES & RESOURCES

May 29, 2020

Wi-Fi Hotspots Available

With libraries, schools, and other community centers closed due to COVID-19, many Washingtonians do not have internet access. Drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots are now available in numerous communities statewide. A map of locations will be updated as more sites are available.  Spread the word!

May 21, 2020

Red Cross Offers Virtual Family Assistance

Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges and needs, the Red Cross is offering a free assistance program to anyone who would like support in various ways, such as: a toll-free help line, suicide prevention lifeline, disaster distress, behavioral health, spiritual care, health services, and more. Click here to visit their webpage.

Warning About Scams Related to Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), US Dept. of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the United States Secret Service (USSS) have released a joint alert to help Americans avoid scams related to coronavirus economic impact payments (stimulus checks). Read more here.

Videos About COVID-19 for People with Disabilities

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) has produced videos pertaining to different subjects related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) for people with disabilities. This is part of an on-going video series, and more videos will follow.

  1. COVID-19: Who's At Risk for Complications?
  2. COVID-19: Social Distancing
  3. COVID-19 & Disability: Precautions for People in Wheelchairs
  4. COVID-19 & Disability: Keeping Wheelchairs Clean
  5. COVID-19 & Disability: Being a Self-Advocate
  6. COVID-19 & Disability: Knowing Your Legal Rights

May 8, 2020

Basic COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities

For a reference guide to basic information related to COVID-19, click here.

Internet and Phone Service Resources

During the pandemic, people may need support accessing technology to communicate with friends and family and avoid isolation. Need a cell phone or cell phone plan?Lifeline Assistance is the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)program designed to provide individuals with low-income access to free cellphones and inexpensive cell phone plans. The program provides those eligible to wireless or internet service for up to $9.25/month.

To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Medicaid. Individuals with coverage by an MCO for Medicaid can contact there MCO directly about Lifeline.

April 27, 2020

An Infodemic of Misinformation, Rumors, and Myths about COVID-19

Of all the news and information about COVID-19, it can be difficult to determine what is true and what is false. The WA State Dept. of Health (DOH) shares helpful tips to know find accurate, factual information COVID-19.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies provides information, referrals, guidance, technical assistance, and resources to people with disabilities, their families, allies, organizations assisting disaster impacted individuals with disabilities and others seeking assistance with immediate and urgent disaster-related needs. Call their hotline anytime 24/7 at (800) 626-4959 or email: info@disasterstrategies.org for help.

April 16, 2020

Know Your Rights to Accessing Healthcare Services and Receiving Equitable Care

  1. You cannot be denied care because you have a disability. Your civil rights have not changed! This includes the right to be treated fairly in the hospital.
  2. Hospital policies for visitors have changed to stop the spread of the virus. They may not allow visitors at this time. But they can make an exception if you need help with advocating, communicating, understanding your treatment plan, or self-care.
  3. State Medicaid programs must now pay for any help you need from attendants while you are in the hospital.

April 9, 2020

Make Your Own Cloth Face Mask At Home

With the continued shortage of face masks and the need to reserve them for medical professionals, care providers, and individuals with certain medical conditions, your can protect yourself by making a face mask at home using supplies you already have. Go here to learn how to make your own mask. There are three patterns to choose from, and two of them do not require sewing!

April 3, 2020

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Site Accessibility

The Northwest ADA Center has provided guidance for accessibility needs when utilizing a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. Read the guidelines at their website.

Free Cell Phones Through Lifeline

During the COVID-19 emergency, the Health Care Authority is offering free cell phones and minutes to low income individuals through a federal program called Lifeline. For information on the phone services and carriers click here. To apply, go to the free government cell phones website.

March 27, 2020

Graphics Communication Card for Coronavirus

Effective communication with caregivers and medical professionals is crucial. For a graphics communication card with useful terms related to seeking medical care, preventing virus transmission, symptoms, and more can be found and printed here.

March 20, 2020

Caring for Someone at Home

Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people who are at risk for getting seriously ill. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers tips about monitoring symptoms, knowing emergency warning signs, preventing the spread of germs at home, and more at their website.

Seven Strategies to Support Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through Uncertain Times

  1. Support understanding
  2. Offer opportunities for expression
  3. Prioritize coping and calming skills
  4. Maintain routines
  5. Build new routines
  6. Foster connections (from a distance)
  7. Be aware of changing behaviors

Learn more about these strategies here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a detailed PDF information sheet.

Important Questions to Ask Your Home-Care Provider Prior to Them Entering Your House

To protect yourself and your family/roommates from exposure to COVID-19, consider asking anyone that enters your house some questions about their health and their activity. The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) developed a list of questions for case managers to ask their clients, and these questions are also important and relevant for clients to ask their care providers. Visit DDA's website.

What Do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) offers helpful facts to consider, from explaining why older adults and some people with disabilities should take precautions to protect themselves, to tips to prevent illness. Visit the ACL website.

March 9, 2020

WA Insurance Commissioner Waives Copays for COVID-19 Testing

Great news! The WA State Insurance Commissioner has issued an emergency order to all WA State health insurers requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more here.

Guidance for In-Home Care Providers

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) has developed a guide for In-Home Care providers to assist the delivery of services. For information on their recommendations, click here.

WA State Department of Health Coronavirus Fact Sheet in 11 Languages

For a quick, printable PDF fact sheet available in 11 languages, click here.

March 6, 2020

Beware of Phishing Emails and Scams Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Whenever an emergency or disaster situation of any kind arises, be aware that malicious people often try to manipulate our fears for their gain.

News reports indicate that threat actors are taking advantage of the Coronavirus outbreak in new phishing email campaigns using public fear to increase the likelihood that users will click on a link or open an attachment.

In one campaign, the phishing email reportedly impersonates the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning of new infections and promising to provide a list of active infections in the surrounding area if users click on a link.

Other phishing emails ask recipients to open an attachment to view safety measures regarding the spread of the virus. Cyber attacks often begin with phishing campaigns that try to trick you into downloading malware or providing account credentials.