Organized by UMass Medical and Shriver Center in cooperation with our Developmental Disabilities Network (which also includes ICI, MDDC, and DLC). These events are scheduled to take place across the Commonwealth after the anticipated approval of the COVID vaccine for 5-11-year-olds this month.
The goal of these events is to support people with sensory and/or other accommodation needs in Massachusetts to have the most positive and comfortable vaccination experience possible.
We will accomplish this by bringing in clinicians with sensory training to partner with vaccinating clinicians, physical tools to assist with numbing and distraction, strategies for positioning and distraction, and the assistance of volunteers to help with logistics and engagement. Most events will offer vaccines to both children and adults.
We also want to note that planners are hoping for clinicians and volunteers to sign up for the upcoming “VaxAbilities” disability-friendly vaccine events! Currently, they are looking for:
Sensory-trained clinicians who will partner with vaccine-administrating clinicians to understand and use strategies to support the sensory needs and accommodations children or adults may have through the vaccination process (paid or volunteer)
Pediatricians on-site to answer parent and child questions about the COVID19 vaccine (paid or volunteer)
Volunteers that can help direct visitors, help engage children as they wait for vaccines, hand out distractor items/toys, assist with vaccine station cleaning and collect survey responses, etc.
The EasyCOVID-19 project is now recruiting people to help us simplify COVID19 terms. Please help us by visiting our EasyCOVID-19 crowdsourcing app. This is the start of our project to simplify the COVID-19 information published by every country’s government websites.
We will start with the Massachusetts. We will then expand to the other U.S. states. We will then move to the 18 English Speaking countries, then the 21 Spanish speaking countries, then the world! This will help many huge populations, such as people with cognitive disabilities, non-native language speakers, the Deaf, and seniors. When they understand how to be safe and healthy, the whole world will be safe and healthy.
INDEX collects and keeps up-to-date information on programs, providers and services in Massachusetts that have something to offer to people with disabilities. We try to provide information relevant to the changing COVID-19 situation and offer updates as new information becomes available for people with disabilities in Massachusetts.
As businesses, day programs, and schools are in the process of reopening, up to date information is helpful. Practicing safe social distancing, limiting of group size, wearing of masks, and other precautions continue to be important, particularly for people with disabilities and elders who are often more vulnerable.
We are continuing to update our COVID-19 Emergency Information web page. Newly added links include Massachusetts Return to Day Program Risk/Benefit Discussion Checklist in English and Spanish and a link to Mass.gov COVID-19 Daily updates.
Suicide awareness and prevention are important. Suicidal thinking is serious. It does not always mean a person will take their own life. Suicidal thinking can be a symptom of a deeper unresolved issue. Having a plan for suicide is much more serious than just thinking or talking about it.
Talking about wanting to die or killing themselves
Feeling hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
Feeling like a burden to others
Looking for ways to end their lives, such as searching online or buying weapons
Withdrawing from loved ones or feeling isolated
Increasing use of drugs or alcohol
Displaying extreme mood swings
Sleeping too much or too little
Acting reckless, agitated, or anxious
Feeling hopeless or in despair followed by sudden relief or improvement. This can be a sign that a person has made a suicide plan and feels relieved that they will no longer be in pain if they end their life.
Please check out our new fact sheet for suicide awareness and prevention resources and ways to help.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions in daily life and financial setbacks for people throughout the state. Here are updated Massachusetts resources for you to get public health updates, protect your identity, and learn about employment rights and unemployment benefits.
Bilingual Communication Tools are available in Arabic/English, Bulgarian/English, Chinese Simplified/English, Chinese Traditional English, French/English, German/English, Hebrew/English, German/English, Italian/English, Portuguese/English, Spanish/English. These Communication tools verified by a certified medical interpreter are now available.
At CANDO, we are acutely aware that unexpected changes require thoughtful support for persons with ASD or NDD. We have put together a list of resources to help with explaining COVID-19, ideas for creating supportive schedules for the day, and various activities to support positive interactions and successful engagement, including indoor movement activities! Please note that it is important to consider the youth’s developmental level when applying these strategies.