MWCIL has collected COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities. Follow up with the providers to confirm all details as many programs have ended. If you have a disability and need assistance, MWCIL continues to be fully staffed.
- COVID Tests
- Myths about the Vaccine
- Civil Rights and COVID-19
- Congregate Settings
- MA Department of Public Health
- MassHealth Information
- Mental Health
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources
- Disability Rights and Healthcare
- From ACL – Administration for Community Living
- COVID-19 Info By and For People with Disabilities
Anyone can ask for 4 free COVID-10 tests. For more information on federal testing, visit COVID-19 Tests. The expiration dates of some tests have been extended, so check this link before throwing away expired tests.
For assistance: Call 888-677-1199 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern) or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
People who have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support placing an order can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to get help in English, Spanish, and more than 150 other languages—8am to midnight ET, 7 days a week. For more information, people can visit: Frequently Asked Questions at covid.gov.
As of early October 2023, new Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are available. Read the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. The American Medical Association has more advice.
- Metrowest: MetroWest COVID Vaccination Sites in our 26 cities and towns service area.
- Statewide: Mass.gov on Vaccine Locations for the latest and most complete information.
- Statewide: Free, Family Friendly MA vaccination sites
- Federal: Find COVID-19 Vaccines, or call 2-1-1.
- If you have Massachusetts questions, call 211 (or 1-877-211-6277) and press 1. Calls are answered Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
- How to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment GUIDE (Mass.gov)
- Covid-19 Resources in multiple languages: https://www.mass.gov/resource/multilingual-covid-19-materials
Anyone ages 6 months and older who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts can get the vaccine for free.
Recommendations for Additional Vaccines
Some people may get additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines:
- People aged 65 years and older may get 1 additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine 4 or more months after the 1st updated COVID-19 vaccine.
- People who are moderately or severely immuno-compromised may get 1 additional dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine 2 or more months after the last updated COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider about additional updated doses.
Homebound MA Residents and In-home Vaccinations
The Homebound Vaccination Program is for all eligible residents who are unable to get to a vaccine site. You can call (833) 983-0485 to sign up.
In-home Vaccine Eligibility
In-home vaccinations are available for anyone who is unable to get to a vaccine location.
Sign up for an In-home Vaccine
Homebound residents or their assistants can call 1-833-983-0485 to begin the process of scheduling an in-home vaccine appointment. The line will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., available in English and Spanish and with translators available for other languages.
Many local Boards of Health are managing their own homebound vaccination programs for their community. The Central Intake Line will help connect homebound individuals from across the Commonwealth with the right resource.
If in-home vaccination is appropriate, individuals will be registered with the State Homebound Vaccine Provider, Commonwealth Care Alliance, or referred to their local Board of Health.
- Massachusetts Homebound Vaccination Program (Word)
- Massachusetts Homebound Vaccination Program (PDF)
Myths about the Vaccine
Myths about the vaccine from Sanford Health:
- Myth: It was rushed and isn’t safe. FACT: Researchers took no safety shortcuts. Large studies show the vaccine is safe.
- Myth: It changes your DNA. FACT: It’s impossible for the vaccine to change your DNA.
- Myth: It can give you Covid-19. FACT: The vaccine does not contain a live virus strain.
- Myth: It contains egg protein. FACT: It does not contain egg proteins and can be given to people with egg allergies.
- Myth: It causes severe side effects. FACT: For most, the vaccine causes mild side effects that resolve in a few days.
- Myth: It makes women infertile. FACT: There is no evidence that the vaccine causes infertility.
Civil Rights and COVID-19
Learn about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice Guidance on Long Covid as a Disability.
Nursing Home Family Resource Line
Open Every Day – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – a dedicated phone line to connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need. This new phone line provides one central contact for families and community members who have questions about the nursing home or rest home care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak. Staff will field questions on a range of topics and coordinate across state agencies to help provide answers.
MA Department of Public Health
DPH has posted information and fact sheets in several languages, as well as updated Massachusetts information on Covid-19 at Mass.gov DPH.
General MassHealth Information: www.mass.gov/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-and-masshealth
90 Day Supplies of Medication for MassHealth Members: www.mass.gov/doc/pharmacy-facts-141-march-12-2020-0/download
PPE – Personal Protection Equipment for Covid-19 Positive Members
MassHealth PPE Program for COVID-19 Positive Members will get a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) sent to the home of MassHealth members receiving certain MassHealth covered in-home services and supports and who have a documented case of COVID-19 so that they can continue to receive services at home by their personal care attendant (PCA), independent nurse, or direct care worker. Download the file below for more information.
MassHealth PPE Program for COVID-19 Positive Members (pdf) (2020 document)
All COVID expansion / exceptions ended May 11, 2023.
Visit Mass.gov for COVID-19 Eviction Information
The Mass. Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) Emergency SNAP (food stamps) supplements ended June 2, 2023. Visit MWCIL’s Food Resource page for local food pantries and other information.
Schools are back in person. Learn more, including positive tests in your school district, at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education COVID-19 Webpage.
The National Disability Institute has put together resource pages about the financial impact that Covid-19 has on people with disabilities and those with chronic health conditions, as well as their families and communities. Visit their National Resilience Center for more information.
- Challenges for people with autism are described in this 2020 Spectrum News article ‘Flattening the Curve’ May Pose Tough Challenge for Autistic People.
- Natick Health Department offered Tips and Resources for Those in Recovery from Substance Use Disorder during COVID-19.
- Institute for Health and Recovery, Inc. has shared a comprehensive document listing many kinds of community resources for coping and accessing help during COVID-19.
- Comprehensive document listing many kinds of community resources for coping and accessing help during COVID-19: Covid-19 Online and Phone Resources (pdf).
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources
American Sign Language
- ASL Coronavirus Hotline from CSD (Communication Service for the Deaf) – you can call using videophone. Vlogs and articles about COVID-19 are created by Deaf people. There are links to trusted sources (like World Health Organization and CDC) for news about the pandemic.
- The CDC has created several helpful American Sign Language videos.
- Six Tips for Anxiety and Fear from Dr. Jaime Wilson a Deaf Neurophsychologist on Facebook
Other Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources
- Center for Living and Working: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services (CLW-DHILS) – Special Edition Newsletter 4-3-2020.pdf
- The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) has created a Visual Communication tool for Covid-19
- ASL Therapists in MA – from Psychology Today
Disability Rights and Healthcare
We have heard threats and warnings that healthcare may need to be rationed, and that “someone” may have to decide who gets treated and who does not. These warnings are especially frightening for people with disabilities who may feel undervalued.
- The Disability Rights and Education Fund has compiled information on this topic.
- Download their 2020 pdf document: Preventing Discrimination in the Treatment of COVID-19 Patients: The Illegality of Medical Rationing on the Basis of Disability.
- From U.S. Department of Human Services (HHS) – a bulletin from 2020: Civil Rights, HIPAA,and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 .pdf
- Safeguard against Discrimination During COVID-19 for Health Care Provider from the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities
From ACL – Administration for Community Living
COVID-19 Info By and For People with Disabilities
- From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information in Plain Language By Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center
- COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities from the Green Mountain Self Advocates and the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council: Plain Language Information on Coronavirus (pdf).
- COVID-19 Plain Language Guidance for Employees with Developmental Disabilities, describes OSHA rules and including information and tools to use to make a decision about going out in public during the COVID-19 outbreak.