Thank you to last week’s stories about how the novel coronavirus has impacted those with developmental disabilities, both living in group homes [“Unsung Heroes Continue To Staff East End Disability In The Face of COVID-19,” 27east.com, April 13] and those at home with their families [“Distance Learning More Of A Challenge For Kids With Special Needs,” 27east.com, April 17].
An often overlooked segment of our population, they are frequently overwhelmed by events and conditions that the (so-called) normal population is grappling with as well.
During this pandemic, residents of group homes are deprived of visits by family and friends — only staff is allowed to come and go. Those who live at home most often cannot go to school and/or programs, and therapists who make home visits are not available, for the most part.
At this time, a heartfelt message of thanks and appreciation needs to go out to those who staff the residences. Their pay scale is abysmal, and their work is not a job but rather a calling. They are dedicated and indispensable to those they serve.
In the voluminous broadcasts of our governor and president, I have yet to hear about an increase in state or federal funding for services for the disabled population. More than likely because they are not personally affected.
It doesn’t look like our world will return to a sense of normalcy anytime soon, and the many who are putting their lives and welfare on the line to serve in all areas deserve our thanks, love and appreciation, in any way that we are able to give it.
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One fine body…