TASH COVID-19 Response and Resources

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Upcoming COVID-19 Crisis Related Events: Learn, Share and Stay Connected!

Weekly Virtual Coffee Break for Self-Advocates on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

TASH’s Self-Advocacy Coffee Breaks provide self-advocates with a forum to share their concerns and experiences during the COVID-19 crisis. These coffee breaks are hosted by Tia Nelis, TASH’s Policy and Advocacy Director and past president of Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered. Come and talk and share stories and more!!  Email tnelis@tash.org for the zoom link to join the meeting!

 

Past Events to Help You Adapt to the COVID-19 Crisis

Disability Employment During and After COVID-19: Making the Post-Pandemic Future of Work Inclusive

What will the future of work hold for the many people with disabilities who, after being abruptly sent home from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may have lost touch with the services and supports that they depend upon to sustain their employment? How have other people with disabilities been supported to continue to strengthen their work skills, social networks, and access to technology during this time? Have people with disabilities continued to plan for new pathways into employment while engaging in social distancing? And what might this foretell for future shifts in how employment services and supports may be delivered in the United States? TASH has arranged for these and other important questions to be answered and discussed in a roundtable conversation with national subject matter experts and nationally recognized leaders in the self-advocacy movement.

Safeguards, Unprecedented Times and Advocacy, Part II

In this time where everything feels unsettled and unsure, we In this time where everything feels unsettled and unsure, we must continue to fight against assumptions and stereotypes where people with disabilities are often misunderstood and not seen for who they are and what they bring to our world. This webinar will be presented in a two-part series where we will discuss strategies for helping people stay safe and highlight useful safeguards we can implement in our homes and communities, our human service system, and in medical settings. Together, we will discuss the impact of our current circumstances with social distancing and what people with disabilities have long-experienced as folks have been socially and physically kept apart and away in our society. We want to think about vulnerabilities and true dangers people with disabilities currently face and advocacy tools to use during this time.

The title slide for the webinar, reading "In-Home Meaningful Activities by: Brian Dion, Nakiah Boyette, and Angeline LandyWebinar on In-Home Meaningful Activities

The TASH-sponsored webinar featuring Brian Dion, Nakiah Boyette, and Angeline Landy is available as a recording via YouTube. As communities across the country “shelter in place”, people with disabilities and the individuals who support them continue to experience a need for alternatives to their former daily routines that took place outside their homes. This webinar is intended to share ideas and solutions for opportunities to learn, grow, and socialize while COVID-19 safety precautions remain in place.

 

The title slide for the webinar "Safeguards, Unprecedented Times, and Advocacy" featuring the title text, the black TASH mobius logo, and photos of the presenters with their respective organization. Webinar on Safeguards and Advocacy during Unprecedented Times

The TASH-sponsored webinar featuring Katie Chandler and Leslie Lipson is available as a recording via YouTube. In this time where everything feels unsettled and unsure, we must continue to fight against assumptions and stereotypes where people with disabilities are often misunderstood and not seen for who they are and what they bring to our world. This webinar will be presented in a two-part series where we will discuss strategies for helping people stay safe and highlight useful safeguards we can implement in our homes and communities, our human service system, and in medical settings. Together, we will discuss the impact of our current circumstances with social distancing and what people with disabilities have long-experienced as folks have been socially and physically kept apart and away in our society. We want to think about vulnerabilities and true dangers people with disabilities currently face and advocacy tools to use during this time.

Photo of a person looking out a window

Webinar on Tools for Supporting People When Familiar Supports Aren’t Available

The TASH-sponsored webinar featuring Lori Shepard and Jenny Lengyel is available as a recording via YouTube. One question on a lot of our minds these days is, “What if I can’t be there for my family member or the person I support?” This workshop shared tools such as a One Page Profile, Communication Dictionary and Transition/Change Notebook. The tools include calendars, social stories, social media and others that can help alleviate stress as we shelter in place. In addition, representatives from community-based person-centered agencies across the nation will share how they are helping people to cope with changes related to COVID-19.

a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Tools for Supporting People When Familiar Supports Aren’t Available webinar slides
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Talk To Me Technologies, Medical Communication Board
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Talk To Me Technologies, Medical Communication Board
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Medical Decision-Making Board
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Clinical Communications Board
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a Microsoft Word Document One Page Profile
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF What is COVID-19
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Autism Little Learners, Coronavirus: Why do I Have to Stay at Home?
a mini icon indicating that the document for download is a PDF Coronavirus Social Story

 

 

The NTACT Logo: a pyramid of multicolored oblique cubes with the acronym NTACT below itStrategies and Resources for Students with Complex Support Needs in Distance Learning Environments

Providing educational and employment preparation learning experiences in virtual and distance learning environments may be challenging for students with the most complex support needs. This free webinar, hosted by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT), provides examples of effective programming strategies and practices to help support students and youth with the most significant disabilities in their transition journey. The webinar is available as a recording here.

 

 

Take Action for Equal Access to Medical Treatment and Supports

 

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Email Your Senator About Being Included in COVID-19 Legislation

Email Senator Mitch McConnell here and Senator Chuck Schumer here and tell them how the COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting you and why you should be included. Here is a sample letter:

Dear Senator Schumer;

My name is George and I have a disability and I am writing to you to talk about the legislation that is happening around COVID-19. People with disabilities have been left out. As a person with a disability, it really scares me about what is happening out there. My friends have been telling me that their direct support worker is not able to come and support them because they have the virus. Or someone that they support has it or they don’t have the right medical equipment.

We need to make sure Direct Support Workers have the right medical equipment to protect them so they can come in and work with us. Also, the pay they receive needs to continue during this time. If we don’t have the supports we need, people with disabilities in come cases can’t even get out of bed, get food, or in some cases die.

Please help to make sure we are included in the legislation. We all deserve to be included and supported during this virus happening.

Thank you,
George Smith

 

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TASH’s Statement on Right to Equal Access to Medical Treatment

Over 110 organizations signed on to TASH’s Statement on Equal Access to Medical Treatment during COVID-19. TASH members reported on how they have used the Statement to advocate for people with disabilities on the local level. “I sent  the TASH policy statement to Mary Washington Healthcare, Fredericksburg, VA, on Tuesday to ask how they were addressing the needs of folks with significant ID/DD and ‘medically fragile’. Thank you for sending the statement out to us so that we can advocate at the local level.”  You can read the final statement here and the plain language version here.

 

 

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights seal.

Health and Human Services Bulletin

On Saturday, March 28, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin confirming that federal civil rights laws prohibit disability discrimination in the allocation of scarce medical resources during an emergency.

In addition, between March 23 and March 27, the Bazelon Center and its partners filed a series of complaints with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights challenging four states’ protocols for rationing scarce medical treatment in ways that discriminate against people with disabilities in violation of federal law. These complaints received significant attention. All four complaints asked HHS to take immediate action to address this discrimination and assist local jurisdictions and providers to develop non-discriminatory approaches before there are lethal consequences to application of these illegal policies.

Below are the filed complaints:

 

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Guidance to States

Guidance to States and Health Care Providers On Avoiding Disability-Based Discrimination in Accessing COVID19 Treatment (April 3, 2020).  Developed by CPR, The Arc, Bazelon Center, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, DREDF, and Professor Sam Bagenstos and endorsed by 90 national disability and healthcare advocacy organizations explaining the requirements in the Bulletin and how states and health care providers can take concrete steps to modify policies and practices to avoid disability discrimination.   Read the document here and the press release here.

 

TOOLS for Taking Action

Tools for Self-Advocates

The SARTAC icon: A circle of figures in multiple colors around the flipping pages of a book

What is COVID? Plain language version

SARTAC has generated an informative, plain language handout discussing COVID-19 and a proper response. You can find the handout here.

 Working with your supports Plain Language

Plain language version People with intellectual and developmental disabilities wrote these tips. The Coronavirus (or COVID-19) is changing our lives in many ways for a while, but these tips provided by SARTAC can help you deal with the changes. Click the link here to access the document written in plain text.

 

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A Letter from the TASH Self-Advocacy Committee in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

The TASH Self Advocacy Committee has released a letter detailing a good response to COVID-19 while also providing resources on things to do during social distancing. Find the letter here.

 

 

 

TOOLS for Families and Siblings

Know Your Rights!

Print this off and keep it with you in case you or someone you love needs to seek treatment! It is available in both a PDF version or a text only version.

 

 

 

TOOLS for Educators

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Distance Learning for Special Education

Parents and educators, members of TASH and the broader community are working together to provide resources as educators, families, and others move to distance instruction for all students. This website is geared specifically for those learners with significant support needs and provides a variety of resources for students of all ages. It is an open source and can be adapted to fit your needs.

 

 

TOOLS for Providers

Photo of a person looking out a window

Webinar on Tools for Supporting People When Familiar Supports Aren’t Available

The TASH-sponsored webinar featuring Lori Shepard and Jenny Lengyel is available as a recording via YouTube. One question on a lot of our minds these days is, “What if I can’t be there for my family member or the person I support?” This workshop shared tools such as a One Page Profile, Communication Dictionary and Transition/Change Notebook. The presenters shared how calendars, social stories, social media and other tools can help alleviate stress as we shelter in place. In addition, representatives from community-based person-centered agencies across the nation will share how they are helping people to cope with changes related to COVID-19.