My COVID Story

TCDD Texas COVID Stories

In their Texas COVID Stories, self-advocates, family members, and service providers shared the impact they felt from COVID-19. They also recommended ways to improve access to services and supports for people with disabilities during the pandemic.

The selection of stories below touches on several themes. Many describe how the pandemic disrupted people’s access to personal attendant care, day programs, transportation, and more. People also shared their experiences in practicing social distancing and following stay-at-home orders.


 

 
Social Distancing Difficult at Work

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
I am not able to work because of COVID and the 6-foot distance thing. In my line of work that is hard to do.

Self-advocate from Plano


 

 
Disruption to Daily Life

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
Inability to shop and very little social contact.

How would you improve access to services and supports?
Delivery of paper goods and pharmacy items, etc.

Self-advocate from Arlington


 

 
Insurance Coverage Denied

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
My child was getting five hours of speech, feeding and physical therapy. We can no longer receive it, even via telehealth. We started telehealth, but our insurance denied it. Now our therapy company is asking for payment, and if we don’t pay we will not only be sent to collections, but also will no longer be able to get services when this is over.

How would you improve access to services and supports? 
Private insurance should be required to pay for telehealth home health therapy, not just outpatient therapy as telehealth. We don’t have Medicaid.

Family member from Flower Mound


 

 
Access and Coordination of Resources

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
For a while access to food and groceries was a concern due to not being able to go the store and the long wait times for deliveries. I was able to get two Metro Access free food deliveries, which was very helpful. I also was unable to have attendant care in the home for two weeks because there was a chance I was exposed to COVID-19 at work. I am now working from home.

How would you improve access to services and supports?
There needs to be improved coordination and dissemination of information. Many seniors and people with disabilities are scrambling to get help because they don't know what resources exist and they don't know who to call. Many are asking neighbors for help with groceries and medication delivery because they don't know of organizations that might assist.

Self-advocate from Austin


 

 
Child Going Without Education Support

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
My husband lost his employment, which is our only source of income and that also led to the loss of our insurance. Our child with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety isn’t getting modified work or support for assignments. My child's speech and language pathologist is asking us to deliver services, compile data, and return it to her. No one’s helping.

How would you improve access to services and supports?
Paraprofessionals should be able to assist in learning, assignments should be modified, and speech services should be handled by speech and language pathologists.

Family member from Meadows Place


 

 
Funding Services for Group Homes

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
We are in our 70s with health-related issues that put us at high risk for being severely impacted by COVID-19. We brought our special needs son home to protect him from exposure to the virus as well, as we could not be with him if he were infected. Caring for him, feeding him and keeping him occupied and happy has been challenging if not downright difficult. He has lived in a group home for eight years and we are not accustomed to being direct care staff.

How would you improve access to services and supports?
I feel strongly that some policies should be suspended at times like these, like the one where individuals who were sheltering away from their group homes would no longer receive funding and their service providers would have to do without. I objected strenuously to this policy as the pandemic was unlike any other situation ever experienced in our lifetime. If others receive grace in terms of their rent and utilities, why can't our special needs population?

Family member from Cypress


 

 
Child Not Receiving Therapies

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
My son is not receiving his special education services, including speech therapy and occupational therapy. His dentist appointment had to be cancelled, and we have to be extra careful not to expose him to the virus due to his heart condition. As a person with an intellectual disability, he does not understand the disruption of his routines, and he does not understand the need for extra precautions like masks and hand sanitizer. He is also at home with me while I try to work from home as a school district employee.

How would you improve access to services and supports?
I feel like my son's special education teacher is not giving us enough resources for my son to continue his learning at home. I am having to find resources on my own to work with him.

Family member from Lubbock


 

 
Call for Legislative Action

How has the COVID-19 situation impacted you or your family?
It has been challenging to work at home while still providing quality care to our daughter. She requires a lot of attention and activities. We are relying on our other children to care for her and paying them. Our provider is paying a pittance for in-home dayhab.

How would you improve access to services and supports?
Please advocate for legislative action to assist families that care for disabled individuals, such as tax breaks. We should also see a rate increase for foster care and in-home dayhab. Many Home and Community-based Services providers are keeping a majority of what is paid by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for waiver programs.

Family member from Katy

To access our COVID-19 Information and Resources, click the links below.
INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES | ENGAGEMENT | GOVERNMENT