Please note: This page is no longer being updated. For the latest information, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 webpage with dedicated information for people with disabilities. 

COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities

The coronavirus carries unique risks for high-risk individuals including the elderly and people with disabilities. The Harkin Institute is gathering resources specifically helpful for these groups. Do you have resources we should add to this list and promote through our social media channels? Email Emily Schettler at

Americans with disabilities are adding valuable insight to the conversation surrounding this pandemic. Here are just a few of those stories. You can follow along using the hashtags #HighRiskCovid19, #COVID19Chat and #CripTheVote on Twitter.


Information for those at higher risk for severe illness, CDC

Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, CDC

COVID-19 information and resources in ASL, National Association of the Deaf

What you need to know about Coronavirus in ASL, NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

What do older adults and people with disabilities need to know? Administration for Community Living

Contact information for State Protection and Advocacy Agencies for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Mental Illness and the Client Assistance Program, National Disability Rights Network

NCIL Advocacy Monitor, see all COVID-19 information and action alerts from the National Council on Independent Living.

Plain language information on the coronavirus in English and Spanish, Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center

Action Steps for Attendant Services Users in Response to COVID-19, Center for Disability Rights

Practical ideas for health and safety at home with a disability during COVID-19, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation

Fact Sheet: Addressing the risk of COVID-19 in schools while protecting the civil rights of students, U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

APSE Action Alert: Tell Congress to include people with disabilities in COVID relief aid, Association of People Supporting Employment First


Preventing discrimination against people with disabilities in COVID-19 response
UN News | March 19, 2020
Unless governments and communities act, discrimination against people with disabilities could increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert with the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

Updates on Coronavirus and the disabled community
Andrew Pulrang, Forbes | March 19, 2020
Pulrang shares the challenges and concerns he faces firsthand as a person with a disability as well as several valuable resources for information about the coronavirus.

COVID-19: Who is protecting the people with disabilities? – UN rights expert
United Nations | March 17, 2020
Little has been done to provide people with disabilities with the guidance and support needed to protect them during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, even though many of them are part of the high-risk group, today warned the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas.

Afraid of coronavirus? I know what that fear is like
Kendall Ciesemier, New York Times | March 10, 2010
Kendall Ciesemier was born with a rare liver disease resulting in the need for two liver transplants. “As someone who has lived an entire life with a chronic illness and survived some steep mortality odds, I have plenty of empathy for what it’s like to question your safety in the world.”

Disabled people have worked remotely for years, and they’ve got advice for you and your bosses
Washington Post | March 17, 2020
For disabled and chronically ill workers, remote work isn’t a foreign concept; it’s a hard-won necessity. Now these workers are sharing their tips, as well as their hopes that, once the pandemic is contained, businesses will have learned the benefits of telework and will be more willing to make it available.

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