A Coronavirus ‘Must-Do’ for AAC Users
Twelve years ago, when Robin and I first wrote about preparing AAC users for medical emergencies, a pandemic wasn’t on the radar. We were thinking about ‘regular’ things that go wrong, like broken bones and asthma attacks, not a worldwide emergency. Still, some of the helpful tools that we suggested back then remain very helpful and today we are revisiting them. There are a lot of unknowns about Covid-19, but one thing we do know is that when someone is affected, things can change very quickly.
The time to plan for the unexpected and unimaginable is now.
Please do whatever you need to so that the AAC users in your lives have a communication passport or other document that can help unfamiliar partners understand them and communicate with them. Accept that there may be a situation in which the AAC user is separated from familiar people. AAC users may be faced with situations where their support and care comes from people who don’t understand them, who don’t know how they communicate, and who don’t know their medical or behavioral needs. Understand that the situation may go from ‘somewhat normal’ to sudden separation in a very short period of time.
That’s why it is important to create an easy-to-read document that helps care providers know the essentials about supporting the AAC user.
US residents can download a Covid-19 Disability Form for your state here.
These posts from the archives have alternative approaches and links to templates that you can download and customize.
- Before It’s Too Late: A PrAACtical Resource for Emergency Situations
- Emergencies and Resources to Help
“Plan for the worst and hope for the best,” my grandmother used to say. This weekend, do you what you can to create this important document, print multiple copies, and keep them readily available in the event that they are needed.
This post was written by Carole Zangari