By Michael Rock:
During the current pandemic, various attempts to advocate for people with disabilities have developed. Self-advocates and those without such conditions have made various forays into better aiding them during this trying time.
Michelle Ballan, a Professor and Associate Research Dean at Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare and Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine developed a form that COVID-positive people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or their caregivers can fill out to help healthcare professionals better understand their communication style, and other relevant information.
Meanwhile Disability Rights Florida is conducting an investigation about how the state is protecting those with IDD in their care from the coronavirus and its spread.
In Australia, 22-year old Chloe Hayden, who has autism, has gained a great deal of attention as a social media influencer, particularly TikTok, where she discusses her experiences and encourages acceptance.
Each of these individuals and groups offer unique forms of advocacy, all of which can greatly benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their own unique ways.
Michael Rock is a New York City-based reporter and self-advocate with autism. A graduate of Brandeis University, his work has appeared in Kings County Politics, Chelsea Now, Our Town, Queens County Politics, and WhoWhatWhy.