People with disabilities face higher risk of contracting COVID-19

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 7:16 AM EDT
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Helping Maine's most vulnerable populations during the pandemic...

That was part of a discussion by Members of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations.

On Tuesday, they heard from the advocacy group, Disability Rights Maine.

The organization addressed the needs of both adults as well as kids, stating that as of June 12th, more than 400 children in our state were waiting for home and community based mental health services.

They also discussed how those with developmental and mental disabilities are at a much higher risk for contracting COVID-19 because they live in congregate settings.

"We have been taking numerous cases in which clients are unable to obtain certain services because of the COVID-19 emergency order. People can obviously Zoom like this for medication appointments, but it doesn't work to help people get groceries in their refrigerators," said Kim Moody of Disability Rights Maine.

Moody says many of their clients are also worried about voting, in particular access to absentee ballots. She says they are working with the Secretary of State's Office.

And there is concern that students with disabilities don't get left behind once school resumes this fall, especially if the remote learning model continues.

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