Western PA Disability Resources on COVID-19
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Western Pennsylvania Disability History and Action Consortium

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Our website offers a collection of resources about disability rights history. 


March 2020 

Call 2-1-1 for Information!

PA 2-1-1 (through United Way) is an important resource for finding health and human services–for everyday needs and in crisis situations. Search database of services and providers to find the help you need today or contact 24/7.
To reach PA 2-1-1 Southwest for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties, you can:
Send a text message to 898-211
Use the chat window in the bottom right corner of the screen
Dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-856-2773
Visit the PA 2-1-1 Southwest website
To reach PA 2-1-1 Northwest for Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Venango and Warren Counties, you can:
Text your zip code to 898-211
Dial 2-1-1
Visit the PA 2-1-1 Northwest website

First: Breathe. The resources available below can be browsed at any time. Take care of yourself and read when you're ready!

Pittsburgh Resources

If you are on Facebook, you may be interested in joining the Pittsburgh Disabled Community Mutual Aid group, created by the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy (PCAA). PCAA is also compiling and sharing resources on their Facebook page.
This article from Next Pittsburgh highlights a variety of official and community-based resources. In addition, this crowdsourced document lists Pittsburgh-area resources and updates by category.

A Valid Podcast Episode 1 is live! (Link goes to website; a transcript is available.) The podcast is a "joint project with the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University" and Unabridged Press. In this first episode, Jennifer Szweda Jordan of Unabridged Press and disability advocate Alisa Grishman speak about social distancing. 

WPDHAC Project Director Mary Anderson Hartley will be speaking on A Valid Podcast on Saturday, March 21, at noon. She will be sharing information about COVID-19-related needs and resources in the regional disability community.

General, Regional, and Civic Information

This informational booklet provides plain-language information about COVID-19. It was created by and for people with disabilities and is shared by the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center.
Disability Scoop reported on “unique [COVID-19] concerns for caregivers and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
For those interested in keeping up to date with information from the state, visit the official Pennsylvania Department of Health webpage. Updates are also available on Governor Tom Wolf’s website. Your county may have information specific to your area, so be sure to check the official county website! Many local officials are also sharing community-based information.

The 2020 Census Day is April 1, 2020. Visit the Pennsylvania Census website to learn more and be counted.
The Pennsylvania Absentee Ballot Request Application can be filled out in advance of the 2020 General Primary election up until 5pm on April 21, 2020.


Mental Health

Pittsburgh-based radical mental health nonprofit Inside Our Minds is maintaining an information page for resources and virtual programming.

Vancouver-based organization Peak Resilience has compiled a mental health guide; the National Alliance on Mental Illness also has an information page and resources guide available. For parents, International OCD Foundation has shared information on talking to kids about the coronavirus.

Some international resources on managing anxiety:

In addition, for those unable to attend AA meetings in person there is a document of Online AA Meetings and materials (unknown authors, crowdsourced). 


Disability Networks, Medical Needs, and Family Resources

The Disability Options Network is open to provide support to those with disabilities in need of urgent assistance, and can be reached by phone at 1-866-652-5121. For general information on COVID-19, they recommend visiting the Administration for Community Living's information page.

Transitional Paths to Independent Living recommends NMD United's COVID-19 Plan & Prep Guide as a useful resource for adults with neuromuscular disabilities.

The American Association of People with Disabilities has written about insurance restrictions and prescription drugs and the challenges people with disabilities are now facing to get necessary medication.
More information from the Administration for Community Living, including information for older adults and for disability networks.
PEAL Center is compiling a list of national and state updates, as well as educational and family resources.


Employment and Education

Pittsburgh pediatrician Dr. Bethany Ziss has shared tips for helping your children adjust to sudden changes in routine due to the coronavirus; she also shares suggestions for educational activities, as well as advice about medical prescriptions.

National Association of the Deaf has shared news and resources, including information about how the ADA applies to remote education and employment.
As of now, Bender Consulting Services, Inc. will still be hosting their Disability Virtual Career Fair on April 21, 2020.


Learn about Disability History

For information on local disability history and other online content, check out the WPDHAC website. You can also browse records and view educational modules by visiting the Disability History Museum online.

Other disability history resources include the Museum of Disability History and the Smithsonian Museum of American History’s online Disability Rights Movement exhibit.
Though public and academic libraries throughout the state are closed, you can check out ebooks and audiobooks through the Libby app!


Information Updates

If you’re aware of disability-related COVID-19 efforts or resources in your county or community, please let us know at We will be sharing information on the WPDHAC Facebook page.


ADA 30 Logo in red and blue featuring symbols representing people with disabilities. Text reads: 'ADA for Allegheny County & Pittsburgh - ADA30 Americans with Disabilities Act 1990-2020: 30 Years Strong.'
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