COVID-19 Resources for People with IDD, Families, and Care Providers

March 18, 2020

We’ve compiled a list of official and informal resources for news and information on COVID-19, Services, Education, Health Care, Financial Resources, Activities for School Age Children, Support for Families, and Social Outlets. This list is being updated daily.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Department of Health (DOH)

Office of the Governor

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Washington State Coronavirus Response


Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)

Green Mountain Self Advocates

Informing Families

Special Olympics International

Videos by California Self-Advocates

For Specific Populations:

Autism Focused Intervention, Resources & Modules

Deaf-Blind Community

Dementia Action Collaborative

Down Syndrome Resources

Wheelchair Users


Internet and Phone Service Resources

  • Lifeline Phone and Internet Assistance
    Lowering the monthly cost of phone or internet service. The Lifeline program also provides support to lower the service costs for qualified households.
  • Lifeline Support
    A Federal Communication Commission (FCC) program designed to provide individuals with low-income access to free cell phones and inexpensive cell phone plans. The program provides those eligible to wireless or internet service for up to $9.25/month. To participate in the Lifeline program, consumers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Medicaid. Individuals with coverage by an MCO for Medicaid can contact their MCO directly about Lifeline. Click here for more information.
  • Everyone On
    Visit EveryoneOn to search low-cost internet service offers from providers responding to the COVID-19 crisis. EveryoneOn is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating social and economic opportunity by connecting low-income families to affordable internet service and computers, and providing digital skills training.
  • Telecommunication Equipment Distribution (TED)
    TED helps people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a speech impairment, to get the assistance they need to communicate. Visit the TED website to learn more and download an application.


Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)


  • IEP on Pause? How to Support Continuous Learning with School Buildings Closed
  • Links for Learning at Home During COVID19

Informing Families

(Out of State Resources) California State Council on Developmental Disabilities

[Note: Scroll below to INFORMAL RESOURCES to find a listing of Activities for School Age Children.]


Employment Security Department (ESD)

Internal Revenue Service Newsroom

  • Economic Impact Payments
    New: People on SSI will need to provide personal information to the IRS to receive their payments. The information can be provided via an IRS portal created for this purpose.

Social Security

  • Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients
    Steps to Take and Schedule of Payments

Washington State Department of Commerce

  • Rent & Energy Assistance
    Washington state residents currently participating in the federal Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may apply for special crisis benefits

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus.


Economic Services Administration

Did you know? Amazon is accepting EBT cards in select states, including Washington.


Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Washington State Healthcare Authority

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

  • Extended Enrollment
    In response to the potential growth of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) today announced a limited-time special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance. This special enrollment period (SEP), that runs through April 8, 2020, will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Resources for Individuals Who Test Positive for COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 Disability Form(to be completed by or for an individual with intellectual disabilities or communication difficulties)


Covid-19 Help for Washington


Carina Care Provider Registry

  • Carina Care
    Free, online service connecting Home Care Consumers and Providers.

Informing Families

How to Become a DDA Contracted Individual Provider (IP)
For eligible clients of DDA who have identified a potential caregiver, or for individuals who have been asked to provide personal care or respite services by a client of DDA.



[Note: This is a sample list and does not constitute endorsement of businesses offering free resources. There are many more activities and resources available online. Explore on your own and connect with parent and educator groups online for recommendations.]

Daily Schedule and Activity Ideas

Many families are just starting to find out that their children will be out of school for the next 4-6 weeks, and are coming to the realization that in order to maintain continuity they will need to implement a structured schedule. This sample schedule has been made free for download to help you create a schedule and activities tailored to your child’s interests and needs.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some together. I’ll see you at 1pm ET weekdays for LUNCH DOODLES and I hope you’ll keep making art even after my visit!

PBS Kids

Get daily activities and tips to help kids play and learn at home.

Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing

Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!

School Closure Toolkit

This toolkit includes visual supports for children with autism to use during the COVID-19 school closures. Created by Easterseals Illinois Autism Partnership.

The Sped Guru: Special Education Websites for Students and Parents

Top websites for children with learning disabilities that can be utilized at home and school.



Find support, connection and resources in your community as parent and self-advocacy organizations make the move to create more online support opportunities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

For Adults with IDD

  • Best Buddies Washington Virtual “Hang In”
    Connect with the Best Buddies community in Washington through stories, conversations, videos, art, trivia, games, and more!
  • People First of Washington
    Connect with peers on Facebook and Zoom with daily online video chats.
  • Link20 Zoom-Fest 2020
    Over the next weeks we are going to be holding webinars and digital gatherings twice a week! Stay glued to your email on Fridays to learn more! Email if you are interested in joining! Link20 is a global social movement led by a network of young activists, with and without disabilities. Our goal is to raise awareness on the right of people with disabilities to be fully included in our society and strengthen young activist’s leadership skills and influence in promoting inclusion and social justice.

For Families



Stuck at home? Don’t isolate. Keep that date! Connect virtually with friends and family without the travel or traffic. [Note: This is a sample list and does not constitute endorsement of businesses offering free resources.]


Many disability organizations have formed private and public groups where you chat and connect with others who share similar interests and needs. Some, like People First of Washington, hold watch parties for shared online social time.


This is a great way to visit family members who live in facilities and settings with visitor restrictions. If your family member does not have a cell phone to receive calls, ask their care provider if they can provide a (wiped down/clean) phone for your family member to use.

Google Hangouts

Make voice calls, send text messages, and even have group video chats from your mobile device or computer without paying a dime.


This video conferencing platform has lifted its paid subscription during the COVID-19 outbreak. Have virtual coffee or lunch with a friend, or a get together with several. It’s easy to set up for anyone with a device that has a camera and internet connection.

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