Impact of Covid-19 on People with Disabilities in County Kerry
February 2 2021, 02:11pm
People with the lived experience of disability in Kerry were facilitated to come together by the Disability Federation of Ireland, DFI, and the Kerry Education Training Board. In a series of online workshops held in November and December 2020, people with disabilities engaged with one another and opened up about how Covid 19 is affecting their lives.
“I enjoy art and craft but can’t do it because it’s on at the same time as healthy eating and I like that too”.
Some insights into how COVID-19 restrictions are affecting people with disabilities:
- Participants reported walking up to 4kms to the service, during level 5 restrictions because the bus was not available.
- A young man in a nursing home has a tablet but no broadband access, so he can’t attend online classes
- One participant, who has Usher Syndrome, meaning he is profoundly Deaf and his peripheral vision is affected, was visibly upset, he reported that a security guard in a local shop was aggressive towards him as he was unable to see social distancing signs and was standing in the wrong place for the queue or too close to other customers.
Supported by DFI, the participants identified practical ways their service providers and others could help them to combat isolation and gain a stronger sense of control in their lives.
DFI is also aware that service providers are finding it very difficult to offer person-centered support while negotiating ever-changing levels of restrictions. DFI worked with the service providers, encouraging them to work together locally and is supporting them to find innovative responses to meet the expressed needs of people with disabilities in Kerry.