Disability Rights group helping eligible Ohioans receive COVID-19 vaccine

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The effort to get the COVID-19 vaccine to Ohioans can be a challenge for some of our neighbors, and that’s why Disability Rights Ohio is working to help those who run into problems.

“We’re making an effort to make it accessible to people with disabilities, so explaining things in a clear, understandable way that’s hopefully helpful to people with disabilities and also encouraging people to contact us directly,” said Kevin Truitt of Disability Rights Ohio.

The civil rights group is fielding calls from people with concerns.

“[If someone thinks] I have one of those disabilities, one of those medication conditions, and I think I fit into one of those priority categories and I’m being told I don’t and I think I did … that’s an area where we can advocate,” Truitt said. “We can reach out to the county or the state and say, ‘Listen, this person should be receiving the vaccine and they’re being told they’re not. They don’t have access to it at this point.’”

The group is also directing people to its online COVID-19 resource guide. More than a dozen categories will link you to information about agency updates, including housing, COVID-19 education and developmental disabilities. You can find the website here.

“Just to educate people about the education process and try to answer questions people may have,” Truitt said. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so we’re trying to provide accurate, objective information to the public to people with disabilities and their families.”

Ohio is currently vaccinating residents with severe congenital, developmental or early-onset, and inherited medical conditions. Here is the list — not necessarily complete — from the Department of Health’s vaccination page:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spina bifida
  • Severe congenital heart disease requiring hospitalization within the past year
  • Severe type 1 diabetes requiring hospitalization within the past year
  • Inherited metabolic disorders including phenylketonuria
  • Severe neurological disorders including epilepsy, hydrocephaly, and microcephaly
  • Severe genetic disorders including Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome, and muscular dystrophy
  • Severe lung disease, including asthma requiring hospitalization within the past year, and cystic fibrosis
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Alpha and beta thalassemia
  • Solid organ transplant patients

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