COVID-19 Resources for People with Developmental Disabilities


Questions about COVID-19?

Visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH for answers.

This page provides links to information that may be helpful to people with developmental disabilities. The links are organized into the following topic areas:

Early Intervention

Guidance Docments: Ohio Early Intervention's list of guidance documents for programs, including guidance on issues pertaining to COVID-19.


COVID-19 and Job Applicants and Employees with Disabilities: Provides information on emerging practices to employ and protect workers with disabilities. Written by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion.

Family Support

COVID-19 Needs Assessment: The Adult Advocacy Centers (AACs) surveyed 134 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities regarding the impact that COVID-19 has had on their lives. It is the hope of the AACs that organizations who serve people with disabilities will use this information to better plan for future emergencies and disasters. Summaries of the survey responses are listed in the report, followed by a conclusion and suggested next steps.

How to Use Charting the LifeCourse™ (CtLC) Tools in Challenging Times: Tools developed to support families during family challenges, such as issues related to supporting your family during the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed by the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Support for Families During the COVID-19 Crisis: The OCALI Autism Center has created some social narratives to use at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Social narratives teach the individual appropriate social practices that can also help regulate behavior. 

Supporting Families During the Pandemic - Four Therapists Share Their Wisdom: This video features four Early Intervention practitioners from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, working with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), Dr. Larry Edelman, and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), who share their experiences and advice about using video conferencing to deliver home visits.

Taking Charge of Your Child’s Care Plan During COVID-19: This resource is a checklist for families to use to prepare for potential hospitalizations of their loved one with a disability. This was developed by the University of Cincinnati UCEDD.

What COVID Means for Families: This information is provided by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Financial Assistance

COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs: The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities provides a list of resources and information that could be beneficial for family members, direct support professionals (DSPs), and agency providers. 

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID 19 Stimulus Payments and STABLE Accounts: Information provided by the Ohio Treasurer's Office, in collaboration with several Ohio disability-related organizations including the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council.

Legal Rights and Policy

Follow more public policy updates from the following organizations:

Mental Health Support

Times of crisis can be hard on everyone. If you are concerned about your own mental health or a family member's mental health, reach out for help. Here are some resources that can help:

  • COVID Care Line: Call 1-800-720-9616 to connect with trained counselors through the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services.
  • Friendly Chat: The Staying Connected program provides service provides a free "Friendly Chat" which is a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older.
  • Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services: The Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (ODMHAS) has information on their website on how to find support, including the use of telehealth services from your phone, tablet or computer.
  • Ohio Crisis Text Line: To use this, text the word "4HOPE" to 741 741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor within 5 minutes. This service is available 24/7. 
  • OhioMHAS Help Line: Call 1-877-275-6364. This line is available  from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday. 
  • Reach Out / Tele-Friend: A service provided by the Ohio Self Determination Association.
  • The Center for Start Services: COVID-19 resources from a national organization that focuses on mental health aspects of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • How to Support Your Child’s Health and Well-Being During Ohio’s Ordered School-Building Closure: Information from the Ohio Department of Education.

Plain Language Resources

The Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC), with guidance and support from the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council, created a plain language booklet about the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. This booklet is intended to provide easy-to-understand information for people with developmental disabilities so they know about the virus, including prevention tips and answers to common questions. In addition, the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities translated the booklet into Spanish.

Resource Collections

Cincinnati Children's UCEDD: COVID-19 Information for People with Disabilities

Institute for Community Inclusion: COVID-19 Publications and Resources

National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems: NCAPPS COVID-19 Resource

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities: COVID-19 Guidance

The Arc of the United States: COVID-19 Resources for People With Disabilities, Families, and Service Providers

Service Animals

Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals: Guidance from the CDC about the potential spread of the virus from humans to animals.

Special Education

Back to School Resources During COVID-19: Information from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Online vs. In-School Learning: A tip sheet from the University of Cincinnati UCEDD on what to consider for children with special education and/or healthcare needs.

Special Education Fact Sheet related to COVID-19: A tip sheet from the University of Cincinnati UCEDD on what to consider with re-entry to school, including how your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) should be fully implemented.


COVID-19 Info: Plain Language video created by the Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Services. Click on the video below or view it on YouTube: COVID-19 Coronavirus.

What in the World is Going On? Plain Talk for Pandemic Times: Plain language video created by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council. Click on the video below or view it on YouTube: What In the World is Going On.


What in the World is Going On? Plain Talk for Pandemic Times

Plain language video created by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council. Click on the video below or view it on YouTube: What In the World is Going On.