Disability Concerns Resources for COVID-19

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For more support resources, visit crcna.org/COVID19. For a complete list of all webinars from our partner organizations, visit our Facebook Events Page. You will find additional resources on the Coronavirus on Faithward, a resource site associated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA).

**Please note: This article will be updated on a weekly basis throughout the pandemic to bring you the most up-to-date information.**

(updated 2020-05-11)

In the wake of the devastation that COVID-19 is having globally, CRC/RCA Disability Concerns offers its support and tangible assistance to people with disabilities and mental health conditions. This is a difficult time for many and we are particularly saddened that many essential services have not been maintained in our communities. We stand beside you, devastated by the news that has been emerging from other countries regarding the disturbing ethical decisions being made in hospitals. We want to encourage and thank frontline service providers that are stepping into dangerous circumstances every day. We are holding you in prayer. 

Disability Concerns has curated this list of support services and resources for affected communities. Please share this page with friends and family and bookmark it on your browser. Each week we will update this page with resources as they become available. If you have a resource that should be added, please reach out to us at [email protected] or [email protected].

Note to CRC/RCA disability advocates: Please read "The Role of a Disability Advocate during COVID-19," which provides additional material for connecting with your disability community.

Mental Health Support

**new**

  • NAMI released the NAMI COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide to answer frequently asked questions regarding the intersection between Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and people affected by mental illness, their caregivers and loved ones. The guide features FAQs on a variety of topics from managing anxiety and social isolation to accessing health care and medications. Also available in SpanishLa Guía COVID-19

 

Managing Your Physical Health

Aging with Dignity has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by creating a practical guide for talking to your loved ones about their wishes in the light of significant health issues. Five Wishes is a great resource for walking you through these challenging but critical conversations. 

For more information, please see our Network post “Advance Directives and Five Wishes: Now Is the Time to Make Your Wishes Known.”

Ethical Conversations

Webinars (upcoming and past webinars that have provided recordings)

Upcoming Webinars:

**new**

Places of Belonging: Using Our Heads, Hearts, and Hands to Overcome Social Divisions

In an era of increasing awareness of the harm of social divisions, how can churches become places of inclusion and belonging for people on the margins, including people with intellectual and physical disabilities? Amy Julia Becker is the author of White Picket Fences: Turning toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege, and a recent companion ebook Head, Heart, Hands. Becker will discuss the opportunities faith communities have to bring a holistic understanding of healing to individuals, churches, and local communities. She will offer a framework for individuals and institutions to acknowledge harm, reach out for help, and participate in healing.

Presenter:  Amy Julia Becker is an award-winning writer and speaker on faith, family, disability, and privilege. She is the author of four books, including White Picket Fences: Turning Towards Love in a World Divided by Privilege. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Becker lives with her husband Peter and three children, Penny, William, and Marilee in western Connecticut. Moderated by Molly Cole at the Connecticut UCEDD.

 To register, go to http://faithanddisability.org/webinar/

Past Webinar recordings

Faith Inclusion Network:  Maintaining Mental Wellness During Times of Crisis

Dave Eckert from Access Services in Pennsylvania joins FIN friends to discuss mental wellness during these tough pandemic times. 

Recorded: Apr 26, 2020

Association of University Centers on Disabilities: COVID-19 Public Health Webinar Series 

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COVID 19: Faith Community Responses for People with Disabilities (IDD) and their Families

Recording (Presented  April 22, 2020)

What are some of the ways that faith-based organizations and networks are responding to COVID-19 in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families? In this webinar, a faith-based provider organization in Canada, a Jewish disability leader and author in the United States, and a Roman Catholic disability resource leader in the United Kingdom and Rome highlight what they and others have doing, and how we all might access resources on behalf of people, organizations, and ministries we know.

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Strategies for Responsiveness to Citizens with Disabilities in the Time of COVID-19

Edward Willard who will share strategies for communication and support for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Edward will discuss approaches to communication and support that have benefited people with disabilities, and he will share practices to avoid that marginalize people with disabilities during this time. 

Recording (presented Friday May 1, 2020)

(National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities)

 

Caregiver Support

Church Leadership Resources

This is a unique time for our church leaders. Our church communities can no longer gather together in buildings. Community is now happening in a much different way. Some churches have been able to shift to online platforms. Others do not have the resources to do so. Not all members have the ability to connect to services even if their church is offering this platform. As leadership of the church, community care is looking much different now. Here are some resources to support you: 

Grief

Many of us are familiar with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ writings on grief. She co-authored On Grief and Grieving with David Kessler at the end of her life, and Kessler has carried on Kübler-Ross’ very important work of exploring and understanding grief. Kessler was interviewed by Harvard Business Review about the path of grief we are all walking in life of COVID-19: “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief.”

**New**

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries - Faith, Grief and Covid-19, A Conversation

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated grief in all of our lives. We have lost jobs, financial security, health, community connections, and the opportunity to gather and celebrate significant milestones such as graduations, weddings, births, and anniversaries. In addition, we are reminded daily of the lives lost to the virus.

These losses raise larger questions for us as Christians. How do we understand and process grief as people of faith? How can we support vulnerable and grieving members of our community while practicing physical distancing? Where can we find hope and joy in this season? This short series of films tackles these questions, inviting viewers to engage in a conversation about faith, grief, and COVID-19.

**New**

Resources for People with Disabilities

Have your Say!

A number of organizations have come together to establish a very important survey in light of the challenges faced by the disability community in light of COVID-19. Please read their statement and see the survey that was just announced:

The world is facing enormous challenges nowadays caused by COVID-19. To support the global understanding of consequences of these challenges, Validity Foundation, the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL), the International Disability Alliance (IDA), Disability Rights International (DRI), the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) are launching a survey to highlight issues faced by persons with disabilities in the midst of COVID19. This initiative seeks to gather information on:
i) the experiences of persons with disabilities and
ii) how States are responding to states of emergency situations in relation to this specific population.

It will soon contain a dashboard to make the data collected publicly available. Surveys are being made available in fifteen languages initially. It is expected that the information collected will identify common issues facing persons with disabilities worldwide, providing valuable information to inform
policy measures at national and global levels, and will highlight promising practices which can strengthen the protection of disability rights during crises.

COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor https://covid-drm.org/

Theological Perspectives

Additional Denominational Support and Resources

In addition to our resources that focus specifically on our disability community, many other support services are provided through the CRCNA on a dedicated COVID-19 Resources Page

We thank our friends at Christian Horizons who have created an extensive COVID-19 Response and Resource list.

Thanks as well to our friends at Mental Health Ministries for their May publication with a spotlight on COVID-19

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