COVID-19's impact on people with disabilities
Kayla Bills, a junior at Cedar Crest College, sitting outside of Cressman Library.
Photo by Antoinette Iannacone
Since the start of COVID-19, people’s lives have changed all over the world. But for people with disabilities, they had to make some adjustments to their everyday routine.
“I used to dorm here but because of the survival rate, it was not safe to dorm here for this year,” Kayla Bills, a junior at Cedar Crest College, majoring in Media Studies and Business Administration, said. “It has been a struggle between commuting here for my classes and not being able to effectively be part of the campus community.”
Even though everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19 if they have been exposed to the virus, people with severe medical conditions have a higher risk of getting it and becoming severely ill. In fact, coronavirus patients with severe medical conditions have a 12-times higher death rate than others that have been exposed to COVID-19.
Education this year has been a struggle for everyone especially people with disabilities. Since there are a mixture of hybrid and online classes, it has been a difficult adjustment for disabled students.
“They interrupted, they try to talk over top of one another and they come to class late,” Doreen Iannacone, an autistic assistance teacher at Greenberg Elementary School, who teaches grades six and seven, said. “They also need more help understanding the work that is assigned to them online and it’s hard because they are not getting the one-on-one time that they need since we are online.”
For students with disabilities, it’s hard for them to get the help and accommodations they need since classes are mostly online for the year.
“I think that as far as students with disabilities, some things could be handled differently. I know this is a situation that no one saw coming but I feel like there should have been some input from disabled students,” Bills said.