Marco [Signing]: The next P in Prepared4ALL is about being Positive.
Each organization thinks about its strengths, resources, partnerships, and personnel that might be helpful. They think about what worked well during a past flu clinic for seniors held by a partner organization.
? Think again about the kinds of skills and strengths a disability organization might offer local emergency and public health planners.
Disability organizations might have relationships with other organizations that might be of help. For example, a disability organization might have a relationship with the state Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which might lead to additional communication resources. The organization might have a relationship with the state Department for the Blind, which might lead to providing services in a disaster shelter.
The Action Team meets again to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine emergency dispensing site (EDS) plan gaps and potential opportunities to address them based on organizations’ strengths.
?Take a look at the Team’s notes from their meeting.
Prepared4ALL Action Team Meeting Notes
|The vaccine emergency dispensing sites (EDS) have not been checked for physical accessibility.||The Team makes a list of suggestions for accessible space design inside the building. The Team notes the need for the EDS plan to allow for people who arrive on foot, driving oversize accessible vans, and people arriving by wheelchair, as well as those arriving by car for the drive-thru EDS.|
Solution Idea: Separate lanes or covered spaces for walkers and wheelchair users are needed.
|There is a plan for the EDS process, including arrival, sign-in, intake, receiving the vaccine, resting afterward, signing out, and departure, but it has not been reviewed for inclusiveness.||The Action Team reviews the plan for inclusiveness and makes a list of suggested changes.|
Solution Idea: Do a test run with community partners with disabilities.
|The planners don’t know if the public health professionals and EDS workers/volunteers have been trained on disability-related issues and accommodations.||Solution Idea: Recommend peer to peer information sharing on disabilities from members of the Action Team. There are also many free resources available.|
|Signage has not yet been created. There is no accessibility or plain language plan for the signage.||You have some resources you could share with the Action Team and the planners about plain language and accessible signage.|
Solution Idea: A Team member reviews the signage to make sure it uses common everyday words. The Team member reaches out to others in the community to also review and suggest changes.
|There is no non-English language or sign language interpretation plan.||The community health center offers to share access to non-English language interpreters, including ASL interpreters. Salud and the Somali Health Board each offer to send two of their volunteer members to the EDS for in-person translation.|
Solution Idea: Leverage existing partnerships for accessibility resources.
|There is no provision for people who might need extra support or quiet space away from sensory stimulation||The Action Team asks the county to work with the local emergency volunteer group to have extra trained volunteers for support needs.|
Solution Idea: An extra room at the EDS site is turned into a sensory room run by volunteers from the local chapter of The Arc.
|No decision has been made about messaging. There are questions about:|
• How to encourage vaccination
• Best communication modalities and message content
• How to make the messages accessible, understandable and actionable
|Solution Idea: The Action Team asks the local planners to test the messages with people who have a disability and are non-English communicators. The Team shares resources for materials in multiple formats:|
• Large print
• Sign language interpretation
• Closed captions
? The planners are concerned that there won’t be enough volunteers for the COVID-19 vaccine emergency dispensing site (EDS). What can you think of to address this need?
Some ways to get community volunteers:
– Through the high school’s community service program
– The local Scout troop
– Volunteer Seniors groups (while they are likely in the high-risk category, there might be work they could do beforehand and/or remotely)
– Business associations (like the Chamber of Commerce)
– Fraternal associations
One or two experienced and trained volunteers could be put in charge of recruiting other volunteers. Of course volunteers should be vetted per established procedures.
The public library might be able to loan Video Magnifiers for people with low vision to read the vaccine handout or consent form. The County might have chairs to bring to the indoor EDS in case people tire during the long wait. And the County Public Works Department could help identify an indoor EDS site by checking building air quality and ventilation.
⭐Knowing about community resources is important for Action Teams. Don’t assume that the local planners will know about all local resources.
The takeaway is: Making connections is always better before an emergency.
Click the quiz link below to check your learning and continue.