Protect yourself, protect others
Munroe-Meyer Institute provides local, state and national information and resources on COVID-19 for persons with disabilities, their families, concerned citizens, disability and health professionals, and the community. On this page, you’ll find links to websites, videos and documents across a range of topics.
We also offer a link to a short, completely confidential survey at the bottom of this page. We are interested in hearing about your perspectives, experiences and challenges in dealing with COVID-19.
Local, state and national COVID-19 resources
- American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
AAIDD has developed and archived a series of presentations on a number of topics related to persons with disabilities, including several presentations on COVID-19.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The CDC provides national news on COVID-19 and other health concerns in the United States.
- The CDC provides guidance for families and children about COVID-19, including messages for parents, school staff and others working with children.
- Douglas County (Nebraska) Health Department
The county health department has a COVID-19 information line available to the public. Call the Douglas County Health Department hotline at 402-444-3400 if you have questions, think you may have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19, feel sick or are worried about your own mental health or the mental health of someone you care for. The county health department also maintains current local news and information on COVID-19 in the Omaha metropolitan area.
- Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS)
The NDHHS provides current local and state updates on COVID-19 resources, recommendations and guidance for remaining safe.
- Finish Strong Nebraska is a vaccination campaign that provides COVID-19 vaccination information and support. As with other DHHS sites, they provide information in several languages.
- Nebraska Medicine Resources for Providers
Nebraska Medicine provides current and complete guidance and information for health care providers on their website.
- Outlook Nebraska
Outlook Nebraska is a program that serves the blind and visually impaired. They maintain an extensive set of resources on COVID-19, including education, housing, mental health, elder care, legal service, financial support, groceries and utilities among others. Many of the resources are in Omaha, but the site also includes some Iowa and Lincoln services.
- World Health Organization (WHO)
The WHO provides international news on COVID-19 and other current health stories.
Concerns about COVID-19 and the vaccine
New information seems to come out every day on COVID-19, its spread, and what is required to stay safe. The following current guidance about these concerns might be helpful for you.
- Concerned about friends and family?
The CDC reminds us that COVID-19 vaccines are new, and it’s normal for people to have questions about them. Their video offers five tips to help have conversations with friends and family.
- What are COVID-19 variants?
Viruses constantly change through a process called mutation. As a virus mutates, new variants emerge. Learn more from experts at the CDC by watching this short video about variants.
- Is the vaccine safe?
Scientists have been working on vaccines of this type for many years. While all vaccines carry slight risks, the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be very safe. Learn more about the safety of the vaccine on the CDC’s website.
- Is the vaccine free?
Usually, patients are responsible for some or all of the cost of vaccinations. Due to the high number of people contracting COVID-19 and the risk to health, the federal government ensures the vaccine is provided at no cost.
- Where can I get the vaccine?
On the State of Nebraska DHHS website, register and schedule a vaccination appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
What you can do & how you can help
People with disabilities are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and complications. Most people with disabilities are not more likely to become infected with or have severe illness from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19.) However, some people with disabilities might be more likely to get infected or have severe illness because of underlying medical conditions, congregate living settings or systemic health and social inequities [source: CDC]Information is key to staying protected. Review additional tips and safe practices for persons with disabilities, their families and the community.
- The Centers for Disease Control has developed an extensive toolkit for people with disabilities. The CDC toolkit is a wide-ranging informational resource for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers.
- Provide education to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) that will prevent virus spread. The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities provides a printable infographic in plain language on how to protect against COVID-19.
- Coronavirus is not cancelled. Wear your mask. Nebraska Medicine provides guidance on mask use.
- Encourage individuals with IDD to practice hand hygiene and social distancing. Watch this safety video from the Oregon Department of Human Services for more information on COVID-19 safety measures.
- Georgia Tech University provides COVID-19 information in alternate formats including Braille, American Sign Language (ASL), plain language and large print.
- CDC also provides significant information in its COVID-19 video series in ASL.
- Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska provides a series of YouTube videos translated in several languages on how to protect oneself and others, in addition to more information on COVID-19.
- Cielo provides COVID-19 videos in indigenous languages.
Direct Support Professionals and other caregivers
People who work directly with vulnerable populations have extra responsibilities to ensure those they care for are as protected as possible. In this section, you’ll find guidance for this critical workforce.
The National Association for Direct Service Providers (NADSP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide guidance for family members and professional caregivers who support people with disabilities.
- The NADSP provides a COVID-19 toolkit for professionals, including self-care guidance. Access the DSP toolkit for helpful videos and other resources on providing services to individuals with disabilities.
- The CDC provides additional information for Direct Service Professionals (DSPs).
- See the videos or view additional resources for professionals who provide services to people with disabilities. This site also can be viewed in Spanish.
- Navigating COVID-19 with individuals with co-occurring behavioral and developmental disabilities can require additional planning and resources. The CDC offers guidance for DSPs, caregivers, parents and people with developmental and behavioral disorders.
- Group home living can often lead to special challenges to safety during the pandemic. The CDC provides guidance for individuals with disabilities living in group homes.
- The Kansas Developmental Disability Service Provider Network provides a video series on the importance of being vaccinated. Vaccination against COVID-19 helps protect staff, those they serve and their families from infection. Interhab provides videos of persons receiving services on the importance of vaccination from the perspective of persons with disabilities.
We invite you to take a short survey.
All information is kept confidential.
Your input will help us keep up-to-date information available on COVID-19. The survey information will be used to guide the identification and development of additional website information and public service announcements on COVID-19 for people with disabilities, family members, disability professionals and the public.
If you have questions about any of the information provided on this page please email Mark Smith, UCEDD training program coordinator.
MMI is providing this resource page to serve the public and because content is consistent with our mission to provide outreach and extraordinary patient care to individuals throughout the I/DD community. Information and links to external sources are provided as a courtesy and should not be considered endorsements.