COVID-19 IDD Community Resources and Information

Consult this page frequently to learn more about the ways in which the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) community is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, things you can do to advocate for IDD support during the public health threat and resources for helping your family get through what’s shaping up to be a lengthy period of social distancing / sheltering in place.

What We’re Doing

To help limit the spread of the coronavirus, DSANV is cancelling all in-person programs and community events and staff and volunteers are working remotely until further notice. However, DSANV remains open for business online and by phone and mail.

Please monitor our newsletters, website and social media for information on virtual programming.  DSANV Cooking Club cooking challenges have been issued. We are also borrowing from our Relationshapes program to bring you social relationships information and activities you can do at home. We joined our wellness partner, Beulah Martin, for her Facebook Live event, Caring for Yourself in the Midst of a Crisis. DSANV proudly presents a series of webinars by Dr. Chris Barthold, Assistant Professor and Academic Program Coordinator for Applied Behavior Analysis at George Mason University, on how to structure your day and how to promote positive behaviors while home with children with intellectual disabilities during these times of social distancing. For further information about resources from DSANV and other community organization, please view our Family Resource Guide.

Coronavirus Information and Safety

DSANV is proud to support the COVID-19/Down Syndrome Q&A developed by an impressive national consortium of Down syndrome organizations. The unprecedented spread of COVID-19 is presenting the world with a unique challenge and calls for a united response to better understand its impact on the Down syndrome community. We believe this Q&A is an important resource for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Read or download the Q&A here: https://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/global-statement-covid-19/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – is publishing information online on how to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, how to identify symptoms, travel advisories and updates on cases in the U.S.

Johns Hopkins University – has an online Coronavirus Resource Center which includes an interactive COVID-19 map, information on social distancing, and results of evidenced based research on how to protect yourself from the virus and other information on infection control.

Virginia Department of Health – is posting information on personal and home preparedness for COVID-19, what to do if you or a family member is sick, travel advisories and is reporting on the number and location of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

Advocacy by Down Syndrome Associations and Other IDD Organizations

Global Down Syndrome Foundation – is “dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy.” Follow this link to see “Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 & Down Syndrome.” And look at their “Get Involved” tab to see what you can do to support their extensive national level advocacy efforts.

National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) – Follow this link to learn more about the disability policy professionals comprising the NDSC Policy & Advocacy Team and the National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (NDAC), a grassroots advocacy service designed to “educate individuals with Down syndrome, their family members and other allies about policy issues and give them the advocacy tools, techniques and information they need to effectively engage with their legislators to advocate for change.”

National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) –NDSS seeks “to be the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome by advocating for federal, state and local policies that positively impact people with Down syndrome across the country.” They have also posted excellent information on what advocacy is and what it looks like at each level of government.

The Arc of Northern Virginia – engages in local level advocacy for individuals with IDD and self-advocacy and works closely with the Arc of Virginia to support state level advocacy efforts and the Arc of the United States to support national level advocacy efforts. You might also want to look at their Transition POINTS Guides that include “realistic, actionable information” with which parents “can make a wide range of decisions as their child” with IDD grows up.

Other COVID-19 and IDD Related Information

The Washington Mystics site offers up-to-date health information for the entire DMV and activities and content to help keep sports fans entertained.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s site has offers resources for distance learning and where to find meals.

8 Tips for Working From Home With Kids During Covid-19

Daily Activities to Do with Your Child During Quarantine

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) – this professional association is offering new webinars (starting in April) and their Webinar Archive free of cost. Look for information on special education, inclusive post-secondary education, supported decision-making, inclusive technology and how to improve employment outcomes which are usually available only by paying an annual membership fee.

American Psychological Association (APA) – has published a list of resources on how to cope with COVID-19 to include: Psychologists’ advice for newly remote workers, How leaders can maximize trust and minimize stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, Using the psychological science of crisis leadership and communications to navigate the coronavirus, Keeping your distance to stay safe, Seven crucial research findings that can help people deal with COVID-19, Five ways to view coverage of the coronavirus, Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tip for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak and COVID-19: Managing stress in this anxious time.