As the delta surge renews concerns about COVID-19 across much of the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking steps to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities understand and protect themselves against the virus.

The agency is introducing a series of resources specifically aimed at this population.

The new offerings include a toolkit with social stories, videos, posters and interactive activities. The materials address five topics — getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and getting a COVID-19 test.

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In addition, the CDC has released a tip sheet for caregivers to help them ease worries about COVID-19 and one for health care providers to guide discussions about the virus with patients who have disabilities.

“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can experience communication barriers that make it harder for them to understand and act on crucial health guidance,” said Dr. Karen Remley, director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. “The aim of these materials is to help people with IDD, their parents and other caregivers share critical information with their loved ones about COVID-19 and what to expect when getting a COVID-19 test or vaccine and explain how to stay safe if they are not vaccinated.”

The CDC said it held discussions with adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as caregivers as it worked to develop the new toolkit. The materials utilize plain language, which is intended to be easy to read and understand.

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