Inclusion Canada knows that the consequences of getting COVID-19 for people with intellectual disabilities and their families are significant. Many people are more anxious. Personal isolation and “social distancing” can separate us from friends, family, regular health care, or support systems and services. Our carefully established routines may be disrupted. These are not small issues, and we are committed to making sure people with intellectual disabilities and their families can find important and accessible info about the pandemic.

Inclusion Canada is sharing disability-related resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic on this page, pulled together in one spot. We are continuing to update the page throughout the pandemic. When you find reliable information or practices that may help other families, share it on social media using #COVIDdisability


COVID-19 Vaccine Information

General Information about COVID-19

Trusted COVID-19 Information

Avoid speculation and rely only on info provided by public health authorities to make important decisions that affect your family and loved ones. Some trusted sources of information include:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also released specific Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government of Canada recently released a guidance document on COVID-19 and people with disabilities.

The UK recently released updated figures on COVID-19 related deaths by disability status.

COVID-19 & Government of Canada Financial Supports

The Government of Canada has 3 new support benefit programs launched to replace the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  For those not eligible to receive employment insurance regular benefits, the federal government introduced the Canada Recovery Benefit which provides $500 per week (taxable) for up to 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. 

In addition, the federal government has introduced the temporary Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.  More information on eligibility requirements and access click here.

Emergency Preparedness & People with a Disability

Both the Ontario and federal governments have produced guidelines aimed at: 1) knowing the risks; 2) making a plan; and, 3) assembling emergency supplies.

Information for Family Members and Support Staff

Information for Parents & Families

Parent toolkit:

Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules(AFIRM) has developed a website with tools for supporting individuals with Autism through uncertain times.

COVID-19 & Discrimination

COVID-19 has potentially disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, Indigenous and racialized peoples, older people living alone or in institutions, and low-income communities. Many of these vulnerable groups are more likely to have limited access to safe and inclusive housing, childcare, transportation, and secure employment.

People with disabilities also have higher incidences of chronic or co-occurring health conditions. Discrimination, including harassment against any persons or communities related to COVID-19, is prohibited when it involves a ground under the Human Rights Code, in the areas of services, housing, and employment, among others. 

People with disabilities have a right to accessible health care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals have visitation bans. These bans are important safety measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. But, because of these bans, some hospitals are not allowing support persons, attendants and communication assistants to be with people with disabilities in hospital. In this way, visitation bans prevent some people with disabilities from getting equal access to health care.

COVID-19 & Mental Health

  • We encourage you to look out for those around you and check in on someone if you notice significant attitude or behavioural shifts. If you do see significant changes and are worried about someone you love, Be There provides information on how to start a conversation and give support.

  • Although we have had to reduce in-person visits with friends and family, it is still important that we stay connected with them virtually. Here are 15 different ways to stay connected that are meaningful and safe, shared by Inclusion BC.
  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has tips, coping strategies, and resources to manage mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, check out CAMH’s Self-help booklet series. With the support of friends, family members, staff, and health care professionals, these 7 different guides are intended to help talk through feelings and make plans for staying well during this time.

  • Here is a shorter 2 page tipsheet on how to take care of yourself if you are feeling worried from CAMH, and a one page infographic on what to do if you feel anxious, by Community Living BC.

COVID-19 & Employment

The Employment Recovery Project is an initiative to improve workplace inclusion for people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder by addressing hiring and support needs during the pandemic. A new resource hub will be made available in the coming weeks to support people with a disability in finding employment.

COVID-19 & Government of Canada Financial Supports

The Government of Canada has three new support benefit programs launched to replace the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  For those not eligible to receive employment insurance regular benefits, the federal government introduced the Canada Recovery Benefit which provides $500 per week (taxable) for up to 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.  In addition, the federal government has introduced the temporary Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.  More information on eligibility requirements and access can be found here.

Information for People with Disabilities

Plain Language Information

  • The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has created a video series on YouTube that answers your questions about COVID-19.

COVID-19 & Discrimination

COVID-19 may have a larger impact on people with disabilities than the general public. They have limited access to safe and inclusive housing, childcare, transportation, and secure employment. People with disabilities also have more health problems that make it easier to catch COVID-19 or become really sick from the virus.

  • The Library of Parliament has developed an overview of some of the challenges and impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities in Canada.
  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released info on discrimination and COVID-19.

COVID-19 & Mental Health

  •  Be There provides information on how to start a conversation about mental health and support your loved one.

  • Inclusion BC shared 15 different ways to stay connected with friends and family during the pandemic that are meaningful and safe.

COVID-19 & Employment

The Inclusive Workplace is an initiative to improve workplace inclusion for people with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder by addressing hiring and support needs during the pandemic. A new resource hub will be made available in the coming weeks to support people with a disability in finding employment.

COVID-19 and Government of Canada Financial Supports

The Government of Canada has 3 new support benefit programs launched to replace the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):

Please check the links above for information about who is eligible and how to apply.

Emergency Preparedness & People with Disabilities

Both the Ontario and federal governments have produced guidelines aimed at: 1) knowing the risks; 2) making a plan; and, 3) assembling emergency supplies.


Keep checking back as we add more accessible resources and information from trustworthy sources for families and self-advocates. We invite you to share your finds with us online using #COVIDdisability.

Please note: As a national office with staff across the country, the Inclusion Canada team already works largely in a virtual capacity. Inclusion Canada is following the advice of Public Health Canada and has cancelled in-person meetings and travel. Our full operations continue, so please feel free to connect with us online or by phone.