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Disabled community coping with limited medical staffing, supplies

Disabled community coping with COVID-19 in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — People who are disabled are facing a few added challenges as more and more people flock to grocery stores during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the disabled have to go without the essential items or staff it can be hard to function.

To help put it into perspective: say for instance you need glasses to see. How hard would it be if you didn’t have them?

There are somethings that can easily be taken for granted: the ability to walk, to breath easily, to prepare a meal for yourself.

“I have a disability I have cerebral palsy. I’ve had it since birth,” said Brandy Dickerson with the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.

But for so many people, what seems like simple tasks are hard to complete alone.

March is Disability Awareness Month. The Governor’s Council hopes to provide a bit more education when it comes to inclusion for all people. “A lot of them are struggling and getting the medical supplies they need and having the aids to assist them,” Dickerson said.

Typically this time of year, the Governor’s Council would be out in the community. Instead, they are directing people online to find resources and information.

“Every year, we promote it, but, of course, this March is a little bit different because of the COVID-19 situation,” said Governor’s Council executive director Christine Dahlberg.

Many people rely on in-home staff support. But in some cases, in-home staff support is being limited. Medical supplies they may need, they can’t get, and they don’t have the staff the bring it to them. So, self-isolation is making it hard for some.

“If you do know someone who might have some trouble that way, then why not ask if you can pick up a few things for them,” she said.

For those who can get out of the house, they often face another challenge: empty shelves.

“When you start grabbing certain items in store there is a big shortage and they need that to even survive,” Dickerson said.