COVID-19 is creating communication issues at many levels: from explaining to your child why they can’t go to school or how to comfort their fears to providing communication supports to hospital patients.
Below are several resources. More will be added as they are found. Please contact us if you know of a resource that should be added.
- Letter to Minister Qualtrough (PDF) – Recommendations on communication supports for patients with COVID-19
- Letter to Premier of Ontario (PDF) – Outlines recommendations for ensuring communication supports are available at all phases of assessment and treatment related to COVID. This letter can be used as a sample when addressing other jurisdictions.
- BC’s exception to “no hospital visitors” (video clip) – During the April 23rd briefing, British Columbia’s Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed the question about people with disabilities – particularly, communication disabilities – being allowed to have communication supports in hospital, if appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used.
- COVID-19 Communication Rights Toolkit (Canada version) – This toolkit explains your communication rights, provides tips on advocating for them, and includes an accommodation request form you can bring to the hospital.
- COVID-19 Communication Rights Toolkit (United States version)
AAC in Hospitals for Healthcare Professionals
- AAC for ICU – Communication boards developed for use in the ICU
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Health Care – Takes you to another ISAAC Canada page of resources to assist people who use AAC and health care professionals to communicate in a medical or hospital setting.
- A Guideline for Assisted (Video-)Calling for Patients Using Alternative Means and Methods of Communication in the Clinical Context (PDF) – How providers can support their patients with communication difficulties to participate in video calls with loved ones during a hospital stay.
- Supporting Communication with Patients who have COVID-19 – Free bank of communication supports to patients and their health care workers during this unprecedented time of need.
- Surviving COVID-19: Joining Front-Line Nurses Helping Intubated Patients Be Heard and Understood – Free critical resources for communicating with COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation.
AAC in Hospitals for Patients
- Be Prepared …in case you have to go to hospital – Things to do to prepare now, in case you need to go to the hospital later.
- Communication Supports for Children and Adults with Complex Communication Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Tips and resources for individuals with complex communication needs and their families and caregivers at this difficult time.
- Support Expressive Communication about COVID-19 – Tips and resources for caregivers and individuals who cannot rely on speech to communicate with others.
Stories and Activities
- Beating the Corona Blues’ – sensory story created by Pete Wells. His resources include a copy of the PowerPoint plus script, ideas and instructions for telling the story.
- COVID-19 Easy English – COVID-related fact sheets written in easy-to-understand English. Australian-based.
- COVID-19 Resources – Clinic Activities to Implement at Home – Resources and activities to do at home that promote learning and physical activity.
- My Coronavirus Story (PDF) – A social story about Corona and schools created by Easter Seals with Boardmaker Picture Communication Symbols.
- Support Understanding about COVID-19 – Tips and resources for explaining the virus to someone with complex communication needs who has difficulty understanding spoken communication.
General Disability-Related Information
- COVID-19 and Disability: Recommendations to the Canadian Government from Disability Related Organizations in Canada – March 24, 2020 — Of particular note to people with communication disabilities:
“4. Ensure that hospitals make an exception to any blanket prohibition of visitors when a person with a disability requires assistance with vital services like communication, caregiving, or supported decision making.
5. Consider those who provide disability supports and/or work in fields like wheelchair maintenance or software engineering for communication devices to be engaged in essential services so that they remain accessible.”