Last spring, the increased isolation and loss of everyday interactions hit everybody hard. For people with developmental disabilities, however, it brought social isolation into sharp relief.
In response, the Washington State DD Council invested $25,000 to help increase social connection and the ability of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Six grants were awarded to organizations across the state.
Getting Healthy with Eric (The Arc of King County)
Getting Healthy with Eric feels like visiting with a friend. He takes viewers into his kitchen, or to the neighborhood park, where he models independent living by cooking simple, healthy meals and ways to de-stress.
Eric Matthes and team have produced seven videos as of October, with plans to extend the series into spring.
The show, which models independent living skills, has been a big hit. The most popular has been a video on how to make a fruit parfait, followed by how (and why) to wear a face mask correctly.
Tech for Students (Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation— PACE Program)
The community college-based program purchased seven laptops dedicated to students’ use. They have been checked out on an as-needed basis and are allowing students from both the local (Spokane) community and rural areas to attend class.
Since PACE is no longer bound by geography, students from anywhere can now access classes. Having these laptops for student use helps to remove that boundary.
Exercise for Older Adults (Easterseals of Washington)
In response to COVID restrictions, Easterseals launched a telehealth program to provide access to nursing consultations, as well as an online fitness program for older adults with I/DD.
After kicking off the fitness program, however, they found that many participants lacked equipment. When Easterseals learned about the DDC grant, they immediately applied.
Easterseals reports that participants are staying happy, healthy and active thanks to this grant—something that is more important than ever!
Visit the DDC website to learn more about DDC COVID Community Grant recipients and their programs.