Individuals with Disabilities
The State of Connecticut remains committed to ensuring the safety of residents with disabilities throughout the response and recovery phases of COVID-19.
The resources on this page are provided to ensure individuals with disabilities, and those who care for persons with disabilities, can continue to make informed decisions. In addition to the below resources, daily COVID-19 press briefings are uploaded to YouTube with closed captioning functionality, and picture-in-picture interpretation is included.
At the direction of Governor Lamont, the Department of Aging and Disability Services has been incorporated into the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Board.
Vaccination Site Resources
Resources for Individuals with Communication Needs
Show Me for Emergencies is an essential free app for emergency workers and people with communication needs - like difficulty understanding English, hearing impairments, and cognitive disabilities. It uses easy-to-understand icons for two-way communication during an emergency.
The State of Connecticut has been given permission to distribute and use this application by the State of Massachusetts. This project was developed by the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management (OPEM) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), with funding support by Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) and Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Cooperative Agreement TP12-1201, from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC and/or ASPR.
Resources for Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Pre-Vaccination Checklist for COVID-19 Vaccines
- Public Service Announcement in American Sign Language (ASL)
COVID-19 Testing Resources
The following communication cards and video have been compiled to make the COVID testing process easier to understand. You should always reach out to your preferred testing site to get exact information about the testing process at that site.
- FDA Card (Health Pulse - Audere) - how to collect a nasal specimen for a COVID-19 test
- CDC Testing Instructions - instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to collect a nasal swab specimen for a COVID-19 test
- NuVance Health – English - how to collect a nasal specimen yourself for a COVID-19 test
- Testing Site Walkthrough Video - Video by Community Health Center, Inc. walking the viewer through what it is like to get tested for COVID-19 at one of their community testing locations
- Translation, Interpretation, and Accessibility at Testing Sites - Guidance for testing sites on how to make their locations accessible and address the needs of Connecticut's diverse communities.
Important General Resources
- Guidelines for Hospital and Emergency Department Visits (Español)
- Aging and Disability Services
- Department of Developmental Services
- Resources from Ready.gov
Department of Aging and Disability Services
Department of Developmental Services COVID-19 Pages
Information for Students
- Coronavirus - COVID-19 & College Students with Disabilities (National Center for College Students with Disabilities)
Resources for the Blind Community
- National Federation of the Blind
- CRIS Radio (CRIS Radio is radio-reading service that has been serving people who are blind or print-challenged for nearly four decades.)
- American Federation for the Blind COVID-19 Resources
- Freedom Scientific is a manufacturer of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments or learning disabilities with available resources:
- Hadley Free Training on Technology and Other Blindness Skills
- Learning Resources from American Printing House for the Blind
- iPhone Vision Accessibility Information
- iPad Vision Accessibility Information
- Microsoft Disability Answer Desk (This includes product issues, accessibility questions, and use of assistive technology.)
Resources for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
- CDC information on COVID-19 in ASL
- National Association for the Deaf (COVID-19 Medical Access information)
- Yale New Haven Health - Tips for healthcare providers for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- New Jersey (Español) - Information on for COVID testing/symptoms
- Massachusetts - Information for better communication during medical appointments for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
The following tech-based resources were compiled by the National Association for the Deaf:
Video Remote Interpreting
- CyraCom (iOS, Android)
- FaceTime communication between the remote interpreting agency and the deaf or hard of hearing patient using the patient’s own FaceTime number in the event traditional VRI devices do not work
- Purple VRI (iOS, Android)
- Stratus VRI (iOS, Android)
- Linguabee is offering free video interpreting for COVID-19 testing
Speech to Text
- Ava (iOS, Andriod)
- Google Live Transcribe (can type back many languages) (Android)
- Microsoft Translator (can type back, can translate, many languages) (iOS, Android, Windows)
- Otter.ai (English only) (iOS, Android)
- Web Captioner (many languages) (universal web page)
- Big Note (iOS, Android)
- Cardzilla (iOS, Android)
- Google Keep (iOS, Android)
- Sorenson Buzz (iOS, Android)
For phone calls*, patients may want to consider having more than one video relay service (VRS) provider’s app on the provided device, in case one provider experiences technical difficulties. Patients also may want to consider text-based relay services if they cannot get a reliable internet connection.
- Convo (iOS, Android)
- Global VRS (iOS, Android)
- Purple (iOS, Android)
- Sorenson (iOS, Android)
- ZVRS (iOS, Android)
Text-based fallback options for phone calls
In addition to the tools above, DeafBlind people may want to load an application that can display text in large type.
*The FCC currently prohibits the use of VRS when all parties to a call are in the same room. If parties are not in the same room, VRS is allowed. Patients should comply with all FCC rules.