Resources

COVID-19: Vaccine Education Initiative

The VEI aims to increase vaccine education, confidence, and access through grassroots efforts.

Find COVID-19 Vaccine & Boosters

Connect to Protect

People with Autism and other developmental disabilities and their families are disproportionately impacted by the ongoing public health and economic emergency caused by COVID-19. The Autism Society of America believes that increasing vaccine confidence is a crucial step towards improving the lives of people with Autism, their families and communities as we all work towards ending the pandemic. Through its Vaccine Education Initiative (VEI), the Autism Society is committed to increasing vaccine education, confidence, and access through grassroots efforts:

  • Disseminating physical and digital toolkits in collaboration with the CDC
  • Facilitating support groups, educational programs and events in local communities
  • Hosting online events featuring experts in public health and individuals with Autism through a webinar series, “Connect to Protect”
  • Engaging in storytelling and data-gathering to highlight lived experiences and reinforce key messages for those within the Autism community
  • Partnering with trusted community leaders to promote vaccine safety & confidence
  • Increasing accessibility to vaccines through our Information & Referral Program
  • Training community providers to create sensory-friendly vaccine sites

Vaccine Facts & Resources

The Autism Society knows that there is an overwhelming number of resources for information regarding COVID-19, though not all pertain to the specific needs of our community. Below are handpicked resources to assist the Autism community with information for healthcare professionals, parents, and caregivers.

  • Unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19, 17 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 20 times more likely to die.
  • Adults with Autism, intellectual disabilities, and/or with mental health diagnoses, have an increased risk for experiencing more severe COVID-19 disease symptoms.
  • People with intellectual disabilities (ID) already die 16-20 years earlier than the general population due to preventable illness; People with ID are almost six times more likely to die from COVID-19.
  • The CDC recommends that everyone age 12 and older get a COVID-19 booster dose.
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General Vaccine Information

Social Stories and Infographics

Social stories use plain language and visual cues to show vaccine experiences. 

Events

In 2020, the Autism Society of America launched a Facebook Live series dedicated to providing relevant, COVID-19 information for the Autism community. Now, the quarterly broadcast will feature an expert discussing specific topics like Community Connections, Accessibility Options, Parent Advocates, Back to School Considerations,  Mental Health, Boosters, and more.  

Watch Past Videos

Parent and Caregivers

Our Impact

The Autism Society of America was the first National Autism organization to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • The Autism Society of America developed a COVID-19 relief toolkit, accessed over 135,000 times reviewing policy, healthcare, education resources, and more.
  • With the help of professionals and self-advocates, we created social stories that address COVID-19 issues like mask-wearing, which were downloaded over 15,000 times.
  • Our Coronavirus Information Series featuring Autistic self-advocates and industry experts has been viewed over 191,000 times.
  • The Autism Society’s network of 71 affiliates persevered through adversity and responded with virtual support groups, game nights, mental health coffee chats, and many more innovative solutions.
  • Thanks to a generous donation from the Make Waves Family Foundation, the Autism Society network distributed 53,000 masks to Direct Support Professionals and Autistic residents during the onset of the pandemic.
  • Since 2020, the Autism Society has worked alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners to educate the community about the COVID-19 vaccine to quell vaccine myths and hesitancy in the effort to keep our community safe.
  • In early December 2020, the Autism Society led a collaborative effort, with other national disability organizations calling for people with Autism and other developmental disabilities to be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination as the inoculation plan began.
  • In 2022, the Autism Society of America launched an official Vaccine Education Initiative to promote vaccine awareness and confidence in the Autism community.

Vaccine Support

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