FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COVID-19 National, Online Survey Identifies Critical, Unmet Needs of the Disability Community
Birmingham, AL (May 29, 2020) – Lakeshore Foundation and the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) today released findings from the COVID-19 Disability Community Needs Assessment. The assessment explored current needs of people with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions in response to the pandemic. Some of the major findings from the online survey include concerns about being able to afford basic needs such as food and medication, a lack of access to groceries, participating in health and wellness activities, and a fear of exclusion and discrimination in receiving all hospital services.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting our lives, we realized the hardships the Coronavirus could present for people with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions," said Lakeshore President Jeff Underwood. “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that many individuals with disabilities may be more negatively impacted by the pandemic, including its financial consequences. We felt it was important to conduct this survey to better understand these challenges and in support of work with the disability community and other organizations.”
The survey was conducted online over a two-week period from April 2, 2020 through April 17, 2020 targeting people with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions and those who are family members or caregivers. Responses from more than 1,400 people resulted in findings consistent with public health evidence showing the disability community continues to see critical, unmet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Data from this survey will help to identify gaps in service provisions, unmet needs, and areas in which the disabled community and people with chronic health conditions feel assistance is needed,” said Amy Rauworth, Lakeshore’s Chief of Development and Strategic Partnerships. “This survey report may help identify priorities in responding to the needs of the disability community during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in future crises.”
Access the COVID-19 Disability Community Needs Assessment Report online at https://www.nchpad.org/1771/6941/COVID-19~Disability~Needs~Assessment~Report.
The CDC says that people with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions are more likely to be affected by COVID-19 and its economic impact, as well as at a higher risk for becoming infected with the virus because of underlying medical conditions. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 U.S. adults – 61 million Americans – have a disability that impacts major life activities and are three times more likely to have a chronic health condition.
About Lakeshore Foundation and NCHPAD
Lakeshore Foundation’s activity, research and advocacy initiatives annually serve thousands of children and adults with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions. Lakeshore is home to the CDC-funded National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). NCHPAD works to create health equity by providing individualized information, referral and consultation services to people with disabilities, families, caregivers, policymakers, community members, health care practitioners and public health professionals through an array of web-based materials and health communication endeavors.