Coronavirus: Support continues for those with intellectual disabilities in Saskatchewan

WATCH: The COVID-19 pandemic has created more challenges for people living with intellectual disabilities, but supports are still available.

People with intellectual disabilities face unique challenges daily, but there are supports in Saskatchewan to help.

Inclusion Saskatchewan is a non-profit organization supporting 2,900 people, including people living with intellectual disabilities and their families.

The team works with people directly to navigate support and help with things like employment and overall well-being.

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The support hasn’t been as direct during the COVID-19 outbreak, but Inclusion Saskatchewan communications and marketing manager Travis Neufeld said they’ve adjusted how they provide it.

“We’ve continued to kind of maintain the same level of support with all the people we’re working with, as well as calling and checking in on them,” Neufeld said.

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The province is also adjusting the way it provides services.

“Community Living Service Delivery (CLSD) Case Managers are reaching out to clients and families on a weekly basis to check that they are doing well and to ensure any other needs are being addressed,” the Ministry of Social Services said in a statement to Global News.

“Staff are regularly holding teleconferences with service providers to discuss COVID-19 updates, resource sharing and planning to mitigate issues arising from the pandemic,”

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Neufeld also said transparency about the pandemic is important, but the way to explain it to someone with a disability is different.

CLSD has developed a plain language guide to help navigate conversations. It has also shared a tool called ‘social stories’ to communicate specific events in plain language.

Neufeld said these tools are useful, but people with barriers to technology might not have access.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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