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Coping with COVID-19

How Parent Network of WNY is supporting individuals with disabilities through the pandemic

Author: Ashley Inkumsah

Although COVID-19 cases seem to be on a decline in Western New York, the virus is still hitting individuals with disabilities especially hard.

Parent Network of WNY, a local non-profit agency supporting individuals with disabilities, is continuing to advocate for its families throughout the pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, individuals who have: limited mobility or who cannot avoid close contact with others who may be infected, such as direct support professionals and family members, individuals who experience trouble understanding information or practicing preventive measures, such as hand washing and social distancing and individuals who may not be able to communicate symptoms of illness are at increased risk for COVID-19.

Parent Network is now hosting a number of daily video and phone conferencing chat sessions to help to educate and support families.

Parent Network is now hosting a number of daily video and phone conferencing chat sessions to help to educate and support families. Each chat session zeroes in on a particular topic such as: behavioral issues, mental health, sensory needs, technology and many more.

The agency’s one-on-one support phone line is also operating during regular business hours Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The agency’s COVID-19 Updates and Resources webpage features a directory of resources including: learning from home resources, mental health resources and directives from the federal and state government and Centers for Disease Control. The webpage also provides a list of go-to-support phone numbers.

“We have received several calls from families who are stressed, isolated and overwhelmed,” said Executive Director Susan Barlow. “So many families have questions about their children’s education, how to keep their children occupied or just need someone to talk to in the same situation. We want families to know we are here!”

For a list of all of Parent Network of WNY’s upcoming chat sessions, visit their website.

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