Bloomington, IND. – The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) network across the country, is launching a new public health initiative, COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities through its Center for Health Equity (CHE).
The Indiana Institute is one of 23-AUCD network centers strategically located across the country to reach local disability communities, reduce access barriers, and promote vaccine confidence. The goal is to vaccinate all eligible people with disabilities by the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th.
“This work builds upon the efforts of the Indiana Institutes to inform Hoosiers with disabilities and their families with COVID-19 news, supports, and services. Now more than ever, it is critical that we promote accessibility at all steps of the vaccination process to ensure all people with disabilities can access a vaccine,” says Derek Nord, Indiana Institute director.
The initiative launches with a focus on building vaccine confidence in the disability community through family conversations in the weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Network centers will share information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in community meetings, newsletters, social media campaigns, short videos, and other local outreach efforts.
“Family members are important influencers in the lives of people who have a disability,” says Nord. “Providing the tools and resources to support those family conversations around vaccines will get us one step closer to our #VaccinateByADA goal.”
COVID-19 impacts all communities – including the over 61 million Americans who have disabilities. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans has a disability, yet current vaccination efforts do not consistently include them. Twelve AUCD centers will develop model outreach strategies that can be replicated by others across the country over the next several months. An additional 11 AUCD centers are conducting rapid outreach efforts over the next few weeks leading up to the ADA Anniversary to promote accessible vaccines and boost confidence.
COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).