Resources Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
for persons with disabilities
We hope that you and your family are safe and well during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
To support you through this difficult time, please find below a list of resources and information related to the COVID-19 pandemic for persons with disabilities. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list, and we encourage you to check with your community for additional resources.
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- Policy Briefs and Recommendations
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Resources and Information Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
- On March 26, 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) published “Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak (PDF).” The document includes actions for people with disabilities and their household, actions for governments, for health-care workers, for disability service providers, and for the community.
- Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) is working to give practical answers to the important questions that people are asking about the law relating to the COVID-19 situation. They are also sharing updates about changes to government programs and court services. Visit CLEO website for more information.
- InclusionNL is available to virtually support business partners/employers who need help with accessibility questions or if looking for accessible strategies for employees to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. See more details here (source: InclusionNL)
- Rick Hansen Foundation has compiled a variety of helpful resources for persons with disabilities during this COVID-19 outbreak. Resources include quick links to general COVID-19 information from the Government of Canada and Health Canada, safe shopping hours for persons with disabilities, information on financial assistance (i.e., Canada's new Emergency Care Benefit), and supports for your mental and emotional well-being.
- Webinar: Disability Inclusion in COVID-19 responses in the World of Work (March 18, 2020). Facilitated by the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, all interested stakeholders, including governments, workers' and employers' organisations as well as organisations of persons with disabilities participated in a webinar to share good practices on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 responses related to the World of Work.
- Disability Alliance BC has assembled a help sheet with a list of COVID-19 Supports and Programs to assist persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic who reside in Canada and particularly for those who reside in British Columbia.
- UNICEF has released a resource on what we need to do ensure people with disabilities are included in the COVID-19 response. Learn more by reading COVID-19 response: Considerations for Children and Adults with Disabilities.
- Include-Me.CA has developed a special COVID-19 section that includes the information on COVID-19 Financial Aid for people with disabilities, and other helpful resources.
- COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (CDAG) has developed a guidance document on COVID-19 and people with disabilities in Canada, to help inform on protecting persons with disabilities from COVID-19. This page provides information on the healthcare system and COVID-19, COVID-19 assessment centres, infection prevention and control measures and personal protective equipment, and mental health resources.
- The Government of Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario prepared an Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities / Special Needs. This guide provides special emergency preparedness considerations and advice for Ontarians with disabilities and/or special needs, including seniors with special needs.
- The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action by announcing the establishment of the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (CDAG). The CDAG will advise the Minister on the real-time lived experiences of persons with disabilities during this crisis on disability-specific issues, challenges and systemic gaps and on strategies, measures and steps to be taken. Read Backgrounder: COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group by Employment and Social Development Canada.
- Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), the government body in charge of adminstering the occupational health and safety plan in Quebec, has provided questions and answers around COVID-19. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the CNESST was listed as a priority health and social services organization by the Québec government. Read more about COVID-19 information on the CNESST Q and A page.
- Government of Canada has announced an online tool, “Find financial help during COVID-19” to assist Canadians in accessing financial support (May 22, 2020). “Find financial help during COVID-19” was developed by the Canadian Digital Service, together with partners at Employment and Social Development Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency, and is part of a suite of online tools and resources the government has made available to help Canadians navigate this crisis with confidence.
- The Manitoba Government have published resources for Manitobians with disabilities and their families, including accessibility in the workplace during COVID-19, accessible goods and services, and links to additional resources.
- The Prime Minister has announced supports for Canadians with disabilities to address challenges from COVID-19. This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020.
- The Government of Canada has made available a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Information page that provides key information about COVID-19 and the current situation, resources to protect your health including a COVID-19 self-assessment tool, and available government supports.
- The Canadian Disability Policy Alliance / Alliance Canadienne concernant les politiques reliées au handicap & Canadian Disability Participation Project have launched a free, telephone-based program to help people with physical disabilities to stay active, entitled Get in Motion. The program provides evidence-based activity coaching to people with a variety of physical disabilities, and is delivered through phone or video calls. Coaching includes: goal-setting, planning & scheduling, overcoming barriers, or finding physical activity resources. Visit the Canadian Disability Participation Program for more information.
- WorkSafe Saskatchewan has provided a list of tools to help those struggling to cope with COVID-19 or who would like more information about managing their mental health. Visit Managing your mental health through COVID-19: Tools to help you cope to learn more.
- Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has compiled a list of resources and suggestions to help support your mental health at this time of uncertainty. Visit COVID-19: Mental Health and well-being for more information.
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health (Compliments of Canada Life) provides tools and resources to help improve psychological health and safety in your workplace, including a new app WellCan that supports the mental health of all Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource is accessible, free and available to everyone in Canada to download in app stores. Visit their website to learn more about the app and other supports.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided ways you and your family can reduce stress during this coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Learn more on how to manage anxiety & stress from the CDC.
- UN Secretary-General Policy Brief: A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19 (PDF) (May 6, 2020). An integrated approach is required to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind in COVID-19 response and recovery. It calls for placing them at the centre of the response, participating as agents of planning and implementation. All COVID-19 related action must prohibit any form of discrimination based on disability and take into consideration the intersections of gender and age, among other factors. This is necessary effectively and efficiently to address and prevent barriers that may arise during response and recovery.
- COVID-19 and People with Disabilities: Roundtable Discussion. MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance. Dalhousie University. Read the policy brief (PDF) and view the slides (PDF).
- Advocacy groups call on government to provide supports for persons with disabilities:
- Multiple advocacy groups and disability support organizations developed “COVID-19 and Disability: Recommendations to the Canadian Government from Disability Related Organizations in Canada” (Source: Accessible Canada Coalition Leadership Group)
- Advocacy groups call on BC government for additional support for people who receive income assistance and disability assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the letter to Minister Shane Simpson (PDF).
- Shaw, WS. Opening the Workplace After COVID-19: What Lessons Can be Learned from Retrun-to-Work Research? Editorial. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. June 2020.
- Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB). Survey Report. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians who are blind, deaf-blind, and partially-sighted. April 30, 2020.
- Kuper, H. Disability-inclusive COVID-19 response: what it is, why it is important and what we can learn from the United Kingdom’s response. Welcome Open Research. 2020.
- Qi, F. Including people with disability in the COVID-19 outbreak emergency preparedness and response in China. Disability & Society. 2020.
- Jalali, M. COVID-19 and disabled people: perspectives from Iran. Disability & Society. 2020.
- Burdorf, A. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic: consequences for occupational health. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2020;46(3):229-230.
- The Conference Board of Canada. Working through COVID-19: employee benefits survey. 2020.
- COVID-19 puts people with disabilities at higher risk, advocates say. CTV News. July 4, 2020.
- PTSD, Anxiety, Burnout Rates Ranked High Among BC Nurses, Before COVID-19. BC Nurses' Union. June 24, 2020
- Opinion: Many Canadians with disabilities shut out of pandemic funding. Calgary Herald. June 17, 2020
- Opposition parties kill bill with one-time, tax-free payment of up to $600 for Canadians with disabilities. Canada's National Observer. June 11, 2020.
- People with disabilities forgotten amid COVID-19 pandemic, advocates say in plea for federal support. The Star. May 31, 2020.
- Coronavirus: Manitoba to give $4.6M in support to low-income people with disabilities. Global News. May 26, 2020.
- 'I need help': Coronavirus highlights disparities among Canadians with disabilities. Global News. May 6, 2020.
- Legislated paid sick leave is long overdue. Policy Note. May 4, 2020.
- Why social distancing is a challenge for the blind, and what can be done about it. Medical Xpress. April 29, 2020.
- We have been disabled: How the pandemic has proven the social model of disability. Forbes. April 29, 2020.
- How Ottawa pressed the provinces not to claw back pandemic benefits. The Star. April 28, 2020.
- Covid lockdown opening up world for people with disabilities. The Guardian. April 20, 2020.
- COVID-19's isolated world is the norm for people with disabilities. World Economic Forum. April 7, 2020.
- UBC students volunteer their time to fight against COVID-19. The Ubyssey. March 24, 2020. Health care professionals working on the front lines of the health care system are getting help from UBC medical students.