COVID-19 Information and Resources

The Arc of Indiana has developed this resource page to help provide the most recent factual information regarding COVID-19. The resource page also includes links to virtual educational and fun activities for young and old to utilize while we are spending our days at home. Please be sure check this page often as we are committed to updating information and adding new content as soon as it becomes available. 


NEW

COVID-19 Stimulus Package 3 – What is In and What is Out for People with Disabilities, Families, Providers, DSPs

Webinars for Families and Caregivers
The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services is hosting a series of webinars for families and caregivers to inform and assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. Karly Sciortino-Poulter, The Arc Advocacy Network Director, will be part of the panel presentations.

Monday, March 30, 2020, 2-3 p.m. EDT – BDDS Family Update
BDDS will host a family and caregiver webinar that will provide updates and information on the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic to BDDS services which include the Family Support Waiver, the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver and Supervised Group Living.
To register visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4939158370394165516

Friday, April 3, 2020, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Managing Life During the Pandemic: Part 1
BDDS in partnership with the Division of Aging, The Arc of Indiana and Family Voices Indiana will host a family and caregiver webinar to provide information and resources on managing life during the pandemic. Topics will include: homeschooling/e-learning, resources to meet basic needs, and maintaining relationships while social distancing.
To register visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2243560479366454028  

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 1 -2 p.m., Managing Life During the Pandemic: Part 2
BDDS in partnership with the Division of Aging, The Arc of Indiana and Family Voices Indiana will host a family and caregiver webinar to provide information and resources on managing life during the pandemic. Topics will include: planning for the future, managing challenging behaviors in adults and children and reducing caregiver burnout.
To register visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5017049973129102092  

Once registered for any of the webinars, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and instructions to join the webinar. 

Governor Holcomb Stay at Home Executive Order – 3/23/20
Executive Order FAQ – 3/23/20

Regarding people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the executive order FAQ notes:
State-operated developmental centers, intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities and community integrated living arrangements will continue to provide care. All in-home direct care staff are considered essential staff and should continue to support individuals in the home setting. If you have specific questions about your support and services, reach out to your provider or individual service coordination agency.

The Arc Master Trust Announcement – 3/23/20
Due to Governor Holcomb’s new executive order, The Arc of Indiana Master Trust will only process disbursements once a week, on Thursdays. Previously, the schedule was to process disbursements on Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, The trust will only be processing priority/essential payments. This includes rent or mortgage payments, utilities (including electric, gas, water, phone, cable and internet bills) and food. The Arc of Indiana Master Trust staff are still working remotely and the full department is available 8:30am-5:00pm Monday through Friday by phone, email, fax or text. www.thearctrust.org 

Indiana Department of Insurance – Moratorium on Policy Cancellations and Non-Renewals – 3/26/20
The Indiana Department of Insurance has requested all insurance companies and HMOs in Indiana to institute a moratorium on policy cancellations and non-renewals of any insurance policy in effect for a policyholder in Indiana to allow a grace period for any policyholder in Indiana for a period of 60-days for any premium payment due from March 19 to May 18, 2020. 


COVID-19 Plain Language Resource
This 8-page booklet about the coronavirus is written in plain language. It was created by and for people with developmental disabilities. It focuses on “need to know” information (not “nice to know” information).
Plain Language Booklet on COVID-19

COVID-19 Dedicated Websites

Quick Links

Indiana State Department of Health Call Center
317-233-7125 (M-F, 8:15 a.m. – 4:45p.m.)
317-233-1325 (after hours)

  • The ISDH call center continues to experience high volume. Hoosiers with general questions are encouraged to visit in.gov/coronavirus for more information. ISDH has implemented a toll-free call center at 877-826-0011 that includes options for healthcare providers as well as the public. Call center staff will not offer medical advice or provide test results.
  • ISDH Long-Term Care Guidance – Look under Long Term Care Facilities information

Family and Social Services COVID-19 Guidance

FSSA continues to issue news and update guidance to program partners and stakeholders regarding many of the programs it oversees as our state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. FSSA also continues to share daily updates from the Indiana State Department of Health. The most up-to-date information from ISDH can be found at in.gov/coronavirus. Following are links to current FSSA guidance:

Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitative Services
FSSA has closed its Bureau of Developmental Disability Services and Vocational Rehabilitation Services offices to the public, effective March 20, 2020, until further notice. DDRS services will continue for any new or current clients. BDDS and VR service delivery will continue. All scheduled appointments will take place via telephone or other virtual options. Clients may also continue to call and send documents to BDDS and VR offices.

First Steps 

  • New resources, including FAQs have been added to First Steps policies webpage. 3/25/20
  • Providers and provider agencies must keep a log of the families being served by video, phone or with a home program and must document their location when providing virtual visits on the face-to-face sheet/ session documentation.

Division of Family Resources

  • FSSA has closed its Division of Family Resources offices to the public, effective March 20, 2020.
  • Online and telephone services will continue to operate as normal. The FSSA benefits portal – www.fssabenefits.in.gov – is available around the clock for clients who need to submit applications or submit changes to their case. DFR staff are available by phone at 800-403-0864 to provide customer service Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. local time. All scheduled appointments will take place via telephone. Clients may also continue to send documents to DFR via mail at P.O. Box 1810, Marion, IN 46952.
  • People in need of food or cash assistance or health coverage can submit applications for SNAP, TANF and health coverage at www.fssabenefits.in.gov. Health coverage applications can also be completed over the phone at 800-403-0864. Paper applications will be available outside each DFR local office in English and Spanish and can be submitted via mail.

Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning

School Age Children
Schools will remain closed until May 1. During this time Teachers of Record should be available by email.

The following information is provided from IN*SOURCE.

Will special education and related services continue if my child’s school is closed due to COVID-19?
If your child’s school is closed with no class in session through e-learning or expanded learning opportunities, special education and related services are not required to be provided during the time of closure; however, once class is back in session, the school “must make every effort” to provide special education and related services and compensatory education may be considered by the case conference committee.

If your child’s school is closed with class in session through e-learning or expanded learning opportunities, students with disabilities must have equal access to the same learning opportunities and be provided, “to the greatest extent possible,” the special education and related services in their IEP.

U.S. Department of Education information on providing Free Appropriate Public Education during COVID-19.  

Will we still have our case conference? What about our educational evaluation?
If class is in session through e-learning or expanded learning opportunities, case conferences and educational evaluations are expected to continue according to the normal timelines. Case conferences may convene virtually over phone or videoconference during a school closure. If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding your child’s IEP during COVID-19, a case conference committee meeting, even if held virtually, can be a great place to connect and collaborate.

Indiana Department of Education information on timelines and case conferences during COVID-19. 

I’m taking on more educational responsibility for my child than I’m used to. Who can help me with educational questions?
While there are a lot of well-intentioned and clever ideas circulating on the Internet offering educational support to families, please start with an educator who already knows your child if at all possible. If class is in session during a school closure, consider contacting the teacher of record with your questions. Start with someone who knows your child and knows their IEP.

IN*SOURCEWe will be compiling carefully vetted online educational resources on an ongoing on their Resources/Coronavirus Outbreak Information Page. 

National Disability Rights Network resources on COVID19 and Education of Students with Disabilities

Division of Mental Health and Addiction
COVID-19 guidance for mental health care providers – 3/12/20

State to allow opioid treatment programs the use of lockboxes; provide naloxone to help reduce spread of COVID-19 -3/16/20

Indiana to offer Psychological First Aid training in response to COVID-19 epidemic -3/16/20


Virtual Activities for Young and Old

Virtual School Activities offers a collection of sites to live webcams, virtual tours/trips, and other miscellaneous fun academic sites. Following is a short list of the many resources listed. Check out the website for the full list!