‘What does this mean for us?’ People with developmental disabilities left out of vaccination planning

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  • Shamica George says:

    Hello i would like to if i have a developmental disabilityd do i have to take the covid vaccine.i am also afraid to the the vaccine because every month i have my period am pass clots.

  • Jett says:

    I cannot believe all these people that are too weak to social distance, keep their windows open to disinfect air with sage, disinfect homes. I am not getting the vaccine that has no proper research and development done to it. You are all being duped. I was sick in Feb 2020 before our lockdowns happened in Ontario, Canada, I phoned all my symptoms into my neuro team and health Canada they wanted me to go to the hospital to get tested but there was no way I could go without infecting someone else. I already did a couple of quarantines working for Sunnybrook & Women’s Foundation and have pharmaceutical experience in the labs. Plus, in-house vet hospital experience as well life-saving certified. So, I stayed home and waited out for my nurse to bring me food, essential items I could not get out to shop for. My doctors phoned in prescriptions to fight it. Took me 2 weeks to come out of it and a couple of months to get up and about again. But I also have inoperable untreatable brain cancer I use cannabis products for. So for all of you getting the vaccines, what you should really find out is those vaccines are not going to protect you from transmitting it or getting it. What’s the point of it? The point is a couple of pharma companies lost billions of dollars, and law enforcement has many super old cold cases to shut, so they have partnered with the CIA, big tech, big pharma, and corona virus is real, it’s easy to treat with Ivermectin in cattle, and other herds, this one is human form the SARS Corona so it seems like someone was messing around and let the cat out of the bag in a ventilated space where there are public masses. That is how it’s spread. Not by someone eating bats at a Chinese wetmarket because bats have no meat or animal proteins. JFC people will believe anything an animal rights activist tells them. That’s why you are all being evicted from your homes. Because you have not read Peta, HSUS, HSI Agenda with the Green New Deal. You are being led down a path you have no idea you are going.

  • Andre Lacasse says:

    I am a parent caregiver of two special needs teens. Having to place support services on hold to protect us I have been caring for the boys alone for a little over 365 days. That is 365 days without a day off. My boys can’t wear a mask or social distance as they live with Global Developmental Disabilities. We are at risk from the virus and at risk if my health should give way. Feeding, washing, dressing, nursing and entertaining without a day off in sight. We are not being prioritized properly for the vaccine. I am a parent who lives with deformities to 3 of my limbs. If I fall we all fall and yet those who prioritize vaccine distribution do not consider us to be urgently vaccinated.

  • Francoise Lagroix says:

    My son’s boys 17 and 18 have severe developmental disabilities. There mother left at the start of the pandemic stating that she no longer wanted to care for the boys. She has not returned. My son was born with physical disabilities however is very intelligent and studied in Toronto. For the last year he has cared for the boys on a 24/7 basis, this means, wash, feed, entertained, loved etc. He is 50 years of age. He has spent the last month trying to send a message to the Premier, health officer, health services etc. that there is an urgent need for the boys and especially him, the care giver, to get the vaccine. He is answered by either the person not returning a call or a person with a script that tells them to tell people that the province has a plan. Voices of the parents taking care of their disabled children are not heard. The leaders are both blind and deft to the reality of how the parents (care giver) work as and his exhausting and tiering and will lead if not supported to heart attacks or worst. What will it take to be heard. My son lives in Cornwall, Ontario. His case and the case of other parent-care givers are urgent. I would be surprised if I receive an answer or acknowledgement to this comment.

  • Tawni Malewicz says:

    How can we go about advocating for our adult children with developmental disabilities to receive the vaccine ASAP? My daughters have 3 staff providing supports to them in a condo and as well, we provide support. We are extremely concerned for their safety as well as own own as we are both seniors.

  • Ann Shortell says:

    This is a terrific article.
    What is Ontario’s response to prioritizing group homes like Ongwanada’s? Where does my 74-year-old profoundly-challenged brother, living in an Ongwanada group home. fit in the government’s list right now?
    Does he fall into Phase 2—with the general population?

    Any information gratefully received.

  • MPP Chris Glover says:

    Thank you for this article. My office is writing a letter to the Minister of Health asking her to measure the impact of the pandemic on people with intellectual disabilities and to prioritize them in the vaccination program.

  • Shirlene Alveranga says:

    What can parents do to help protect their children with developmental disabilities & ensure they are vaccinated as a priority, as well as their caregivers, who are working hard to protect them?

  • Anita Lefebvre says:

    Thanks for remembering people with disabilities and trying to change the order they are doing things in!!! This vaccination is of utmost importance for people’s health and well-being!!!!! I do agree that we need to make it clear that we are a priority as well!

  • Susan Barnes-Parsons says:

    have you made the Ontario newspaper aware of this article which demonstrates, yet again, people with disabilities remain somehow invisible to the general public….there are several seniors with DD in Community Living type environments.

    Perhaps a strongly worded email to all the Ontario Health Units, who are ultimately prioritizing the distribution of the Covid vaccinations when they become available to the remaining Ontario residents, province wide.

    Susan Barnes-Parsons, sister to my 74 year old DD brother, living in Ontario.

  • Donna Rowen says:

    Thank you for your article. As a parent of a dual diagnosed developmentally disabled person living in a group setting I am extremely concerned that they are once again an invisible forgotten population. Not only are they at high risk for COVID the extreme isolation conditions they are living in exacerbates the presentation of their psychiatric symptoms.

  • E.D says:

    Thanks for sharing this info. Greatly appreciated!

  • Susan Beayni says:

    Dear Yona and Muhammad Irfan
    As a parent of an amazing 38 year old daughter who has been labelled with a developmental disability, I commend you and appreciate you bringing this concern forward. With all the advocating we have done over the years to ensure all people are seen, heard and valued for the gifts that they bring to society, the situation we are in presently indicates that more advocacy in still needed. Thank you and well done!!!

  • France Tremblay-Franc says:

    Thanks for your great work.

  • Louis Renaud says:

    Thanks for this viewpoint. At all levels, advocacy has been needed throughout the pandemic to include persons with developmental disabilities and those who support them.

  • Louis Renaud says:

    There is no factual basis for saying that the true goal is population reduction nor is there any support for your statement that there is a covert genocide.

  • Louis Renaud says:

    Thanks for this viewpoint. At all levels, advocacy has been needed throughout the pandemic to include persons with developmental disabilities and those who support them.

  • Christine Strang says:

    We need early vaccines for our disabled population

  • Bev Evans says:

    Thank you for this very informative article. Without being alarmist, you have provided straight forward information. I will be sharing this with the board of EDCL which I chair on Jan 26. Do you ever present to groups by zoom who advocate for those living with disabilities.

  • Carrie Batt says:

    Thank you so much for this information.As someone immersed in the disability community both personally and professionally,this information is most valuable.

  • Wendy says:

    Can’t agree more with this. In the vulnerable group, seniors and other medical fragile people can make noises, they can speak up for themselves. People with intellectual / developmental disabilities cannot, they are quiet, they are overlooked “naturally”. At the same time, people with these disabilities don’t know / understand how to protect themselves, they actually at higher risk than most of the other people. Thank you for the article, hopefully it will make some impact on government considerations.

  • JOHN SLEETH says:

    how true

  • Janet says:

    Thank for this article. It is a long time coming. Ford and Trudeau and Kenny are ignoring the disabled calls, texts and emails.

    Changes to Medical Assisted Death C7 legislation will save the government 149M in 2021 and the Liberals did not want to give the Bill any more time for debate in HOC and ignored the pleas from the disabled. So off it went to the Senate and was expected to pass before they all jetted off around the world.

    My concerns are similar to what is stated in this article, but I will take it one step further.

    Everything that has been done and said by our PM MPs etc for the pandemic have been half measures and caused confusion in order to gas light the public and distract from the covert genocide of #vunerabmes currently underway, with the true goal of population reduction.

    We are now at the start of the 4th Industrial Revolution, meaning AI, and robotics will take over our jobs that will never fully come back from the Pandemic mass layoffs

    You will notice most funding programs currently offer by gov have been for the youth / families and leave disabled living 45% before the proverty line

    As a result the government has written people aged 30+ off as they already spoke of the dark winter to come. A winter that they caused by their actions and inactions

    Trudeau is speaking in July 2021 at the Ones Young WORLD summit, a summit of youth leaders setting the agenda for 2030 and beyond.

    So yes we need a plan for the disabled desperately and must stop the covert genocide

    • Mike Fraumeni says:

      Excellent article and also reply Janet, couldn’t agree more. Discrimination towards people with developmental disabilities is something so apparent in our society and our elected officials should be cognizant of this and act.

    • Louis Renaud says:

      There is no factual basis for saying that the true goal is population reduction nor is there any support for your statement that there is a covert genocide.


Yona Lunsky


Yona Lunsky, PhD, C.Psych., is the director of the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and leads the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities Program.

Muhammad Irfan Jiwa


Muhammad Irfan Jiwa, MD, graduated from University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and is currently working with the H-CARDD program, partnering with self-advocates from across Canada to design healthcare interventions to support them during the pandemic (

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