Impact of COVID-19: Considerations for individuals with developmental disabilities across major life domains

Kathy Sheppard-Jones, Lauren Avellone, Phillip Rumrill, Hannah Seward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The impact of COVID-19 and other health pandemics disproportionately affects individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) across a multitude of life domains including health, work, and education. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to review some of the factors contributing to the unique impact of pandemics on individuals with DD. Not only are individuals with DD at a heightened risk of contracting a pandemic illness but are also more likely to receive inequitable care and thus the potential to experience more fatal outcomes if contracted. Challenges in receiving equitable services in times of a global crisis are observed in business and educational settings, as well. Many individuals with DD require individualized supports to meet learning and vocational needs. If the quality and continuity of those services are disrupted, individuals with DD risk termination from jobs or slowed progress in meeting educational goals. CONCLUSION: Strategies for addressing concerns related to the impact of a pandemic on different life domains for individuals with DD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjvr-201112
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 - IOS Press. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Developmental disabilities
  • education
  • vocational rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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