COVID-19 poses increased risk to those with autism or intellectual disability
A multistate report shows that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism.
Temple’s Institute on Disabilities played a critical role in helping Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability evaluate the risk COVID-19 presents to people with intellectual disability or autism. The study of data collected in eight states found that while those with intellectual disability or autism are about as likely as members of the general public to contract COVID-19, they are significantly more likely to die from the infection.
“It is a sobering result, obviously,” said Mark Davis, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability. “The bottom line is that we need more funding to help keep people with intellectual disability or autism alive.”
Syracuse University, the New York Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation, and the American Network of Community Options and Resources assisted in the study as well.
“Pennsylvania and the federal government have provided temporary support, which has absolutely helped save lives,” said Sally Gould-Taylor, interim executive director at Temple’s Institute on Disabilities in the College of Education and Human Development. “But that stopgap funding is essentially gone, and we need more support.”
“This is a very stark reminder of the obligation we have as a society to ensure that the most vulnerable among us during this pandemic are safe,” she said.