People with disabilities have faced a number of challenges during the pandemic, not the least of which is the ability to get vaccinated. We talked about it with Mark Botterbusch, Vice President of Operations at Gompers.
Gompers is an agency that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a private school and an employment program. Like many others, Gompers had to close due to the pandemic. Currently, the agency is working at a third of capacity, which Botterbusch has said is a challenge. “Revenue wise has been a struggle, but we’re glad that we can have the people coming that we do,” Botterbusch said.
At the beginning of the state’s vaccination efforts, people with disabilities were not included on the list of high-risk individuals. Therefore, people with disabilities were not able to get vaccinated early on. “Certainly, people with developmental disabilities have a lot of other complicating factors, which puts them at a high risk with COVID,” Botterbusch said.
According to Botterbusch, people with disabilities who were in congregate settings were able to get vaccinated, but the challenge was getting them there. Most vaccines in the state are administered through a drive-thru. Therefore, accessible vans weren’t the easiest to get through a drive-thru vaccine administration. However, Gompers is in the process of scheduling mobile clinics to come out and make the process easier.