At-home COVID tests designed for people with vision loss are now available for order. The tests connect to an app by Bluetooth that will speak the test instructions and results. The app can be downloaded from either the Apple or Google Play store.
Individuals may order a set of accessible COVID antigen tests while supplies last. To order, visit https://special.usps.com/testkits/accessible or call 1-800-232-0233.
Because supplies are limited, please only order these tests if you have no other way to access standard instructions or results. Some examples of ways to receive assistance with standard COVID tests:
Ask a trusted friend, family member, or caregiver, either in person or through a video platform.
Use a virtual assistant service such as AIRA https://aira.io or Be My Eyes www.bemyeyes.com.
In addition, trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can assist with ordering tests and providing instructions. Call 1-888-677-1199, Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 7 pm (CDT), or e-mail DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
Here are some helpful resources about COVID-19 and the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines:
Combat COVID-19 features resources about prevention trials and treatment trials, as well as information on donating plasma if you have recovered from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines
This site from the National Institutes of Health contains the most up-to-date information on what treatments are available for people who contract COVID-19.
Coronavirus in Texas
The Department of State Health Services has established this web site for Texans who need information about the virus and about vaccine distribution. You can also contact your County or City Public Health Department for more details about vaccine distribution.
V-Safe is a smartphone app that helps you track any symptoms you may experience after taking a COVID-19 vaccine. The app will also remind you when a second dose of the vaccine is needed, if applicable.
COVID-19 Accessible Resources
The Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation at Georgia Tech has set up a microsite for people with disabilities who need resources about COVID-19. Individuals can request information in alternative formats such as braille and accessible PDF’s. The site also features coronavirus-related articles, and the Center is producing a series of webinars for people with disabilities about topics related to COVID-19. Past webinars are archived on the site.
REACH of Plano will be having two Zoom meetings, one this week and one next week.
The first meeting will be a discussion of the book Being Heumann, an autobiography by disability rights activist Judy Heumann. The discussion will take place on Friday, April 24th, from 11 am – noon.
The second meeting will be about COVID-19 resources for Texas residents and individuals who reside in Collin County. Representatives from REACH of Plano, the Talking Book Program, and the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities will each present information on a variety of topics of interest to people with disabilities and health conditions during the current pandemic. This meeting will take place on Thursday, April 30th, at 1 pm.
Please send an e-mail to Julie Espinoza at email@example.com if you are interested in one or both of these meetings.
Older adults and people with disabilities and underlying medical
conditions can experience more stress and anxiety during the COVID-19
outbreak than other people. Find ways to reduce your stress and anxiety:
• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
• Make time to unwind and do activities you enjoy.
• Connect with family and friends by phone, text, or email.
• If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, get support 24/7 by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Here are a few more helpful phone numbers:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
For more information, visit this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?fbclid=IwAR3SWsrU16WUj2q2svJ3Yhnz33poz3lsQh2zCu4ys96dq4Um7jkDA_GYY_I
Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides counseling services on a variety of topics for elderly individuals in several states including Texas. During the COVID -19 pandemic, services are provided in a tele-health setting, using a computer or portable device. No doctor order is required, and the counseling services are covered by Medicare, private pay, and some insurance companies.
For more information, call 855-241-7160, or visit https://bluemoonseniorcounseling.com/specialties/telehealth
During the current pandemic, when many people who are elderly or have disabilities are needing to isolate at home, a personal emergency response system would bring help in the event of a fall or medical event such as a heart attack or stroke. Here is a list of companies that sell these devices. Please note that your insurance may not cover the cost of these devices, and make sure to read all terms and conditions carefully.
Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
Lifeline Systems Inc:
Safety Medical Alert Systems
Good Apple now has a Stay at Home, Stay Healthy program. While supplies and funding last, a free bag of shelf stable items and produce will be delivered to Austin residents who are elderly and/or disabled. This is a one time offer and an application is required. For more information, call 737-228-3558, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://goodapplefoods.com/covid-19
Here are a few resources and ideas for seniors and people with disabilities to find assistance during the pandemic:
- If you have a smartphone, download the Nextdoor app. Nextdoor connects you to neighbors and people in your community. Many people are using Nextdoor to find individuals who will assist seniors and people with disabilities by picking up groceries, prescriptions, and other essentials.
- Call your local pharmacy and ask if they will deliver your prescriptions.
- HEB is partnering with the Favor app to provide free delivery of groceries to people age 60+. Seniors can order through the Favor app, website, or call the Senior Support phone line at 1-833-397-0080 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. seven days a week. For more information on where this is available and what you can order, follow this link: https://blog.favordelivery.com/h-e-b-and-favor-team-up-to-support-seniors-61f4ab4ad3ac
- Some grocery stores are offering a “senior” hour that allows senior citizens to shop before the store opens to everyone. Call your local store and ask if this service is available.
- If you are a para-transit client, call and ask if the service is partnering with HEB or local grocery stores to provide groceries to transit riders. HEB is currently partnering with Metro Access in Austin to provide free weekly food kits to their clients. These kits will include shelf stable items such as rice, peanut butter, and canned goods. Metro Access clients can call 512-369-6050 to order a food kit, on a first come, first served basis.