COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities

Click here to download this information as a PDF booklet with helpful pictures.

What is COVID-19?

  • It is a new illness spreading aroundthe world.
  • It’s nickname is coronavirus.

How do you get it?

  • Someone with COVID-19 gives you their germs.
  • When they cough or sneeze, their germs get in the air, on you, and on things.
  • Germs get into your body through your mouth, nose, and your eyes.

What happens if you have it?

  • A fever of 100.4° or higher
  • Coughing
  • Hard time breathing

If these things happen to you, it does not mean you have coronavirus. Lots of people get a fever or cough. You could just have a cold or the flu.

If I am sick, when should I call a doctor?

  • Call if you have been out of the country.
  • Call if you have been with someone who has the virus.
  • Call if you have been at a place where people with COVID-19 got medical treatment.

Call your doctor, do not go to the office.

How sick do you get?

  • Most people do not get very sick. It is like having a cold or the flu.
  • Some older people and people with disabilities may get really sick. They may end up in a hospital.

How can I stay healthy, or not get it?

Wash your hands.

  • Use lots of soap and water.
  • Wash for at least 20 seconds. If it helps, count to 20.
  • Wash after using the bathroom or being in public (like going to a store).
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Know that washing well with soap and water is still better.

Cough or Sneeze into your elbow.

Coughing and sneezing into your elbow stops germs from going into the air and onto your hands.

Try not to touch your face

  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Do not touch your mouth.
  • Do not touch your nose.

Remember, this is how germs get in your body.

If you have to touch your face, do it with a tissue or in the shower.

Try to keep your hands busy:

  • Tap your knee.
  • Click a pen.
  • Use a fidget spinner.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Doodle.
  • Squeezing a stress ball.
  • Play a game on your device.

If I am sick, what should I do?

Call your doctor. Do NOT go to a hospital or Urgent Care.

  • Stay Home
  • Use tissues, then throw them away
  • Avoid contact with others
  • Keep objects and surfaces clean

Call your doctor again if you are getting worse. Call back if you are having trouble breathing. Do what your doctor says.

If my staff person is sick, what should I do?

  • Doctors say if you are sick stay home. Do not got to work. A sick staff person should stay home until they are well.
  • Tell your team. Tell your case manager.

What do I do if someone I live with gets sick?

Someone else living in your home could get coronavirus or think they have these germs in their body.

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from the sick person.
  • Do not touch surfaces or food that the sick person has touched.
  • Keep washing your hands well.
  • Call your case manager. There may be someplace else you can stay for a few days.

How do I say hello to my friends?

  • No handshaking. No hugging. No fist bumps.
  • Smile, bump elbows, text, call, message.

Where can I go these days?

Stay away from large groups.

  • No movie theatersor malls.
  • Try to avoid public transportation.
  • Go to the grocery store during the day when it is not crowded.

Do not share food or drinks.

Why is it important to do all of this?

  • You don’t want your grandparents to get sick, do you?
  • Some people with disabilities get sick really easily. You would feel awful if you got your friends or family sick.

Is there a shot to get,so I do not get sick?

No. There is not ashotor vaccineto stop the coronavirus.

Is there a medicine?

  • There is no medicine for COVID-19.
  • Take medicine used when you have a cold or flu.
  • Drink lots of water. Get plenty of rest.

What do I say to my friends if they get scared, or very nervous?

  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • You can show them this booklet for ideas on what to do.

I have a job. I am worried about missing work.

  • If you are sick, you need to stay home.
  • Health comes before money.
  • Tell your boss you do not feel well.
  • If you are worried about money, talk to your family, friends or team.

Make a plan in case you have to stay at home.

  • Who can go food shopping for you?
  • Who will call to check in on you?
  • What to do if your staff calls in sick?
  • Make sure you know your doctor’s phone number.

Talk to your self-advocacy group, friends, family, or support staff about your worries and concerns.

If you have been near a person with Coronavirus, you may be asked to stay home. A person can have coronavirus in their body and not feel sick. It takes a few days to get sick. This virus spreads very easily. You don’t want to give it to others.

Click here to download this information as a PDF booklet with helpful pictures.

Thanks to the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council for providing guidance and support to create this booklet. This publication is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities policy.

The Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) seeks to strengthen the self-advocacy movement by supporting self-advocacy organizations to grow in diversity and leadership. The resource center is a project of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE). SARTAC https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/ is a Developmental Disabilities Project of National Significance, funded by the Administration For Community Living – Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD).

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