Disability support professionals ecstatic to be on vaccine priority list

NOW: Disability support professionals ecstatic to be on vaccine priority list


ELKHART, Ind. --- On December 31st, the employees were upgraded to 1A by the state, as disability support professionals are rolling up their sleeves. Making both themselves, and the clients they serve, safer. 

“They’re so vulnerable, not only physically and emotionally, but just in terms of being more likely to get it. So for us, it’s extremely important,” said the CEO of ADEC Donna Belusar. 

In an industry where social distancing is difficult, disability support professionals, like Belusar, are ecstatic to recently find themselves on the priority list to receive the Covid vaccine. 

“We are in an industry, where you are in that personal intimate care of somebody, like an individual in a nursing home, but they're not living in a nursing home. They’ve living in private residences,” said Belusar. 

As their duties were deemed essential by the state, their clients rely on these individuals to get through a wide range of tasks and activities. 

“That could be anything ranging from, your hygiene to feeding, care, pretty much all activities of daily living,” said the CEO of Corvilla Rick Thompson. 

Thompson, the CEO of Corvilla, says working in this field requires close, intimate, 24-hour care, where close contact is a guarantee. 

“Those activities require us to be in close contact so, the idea of social distancing is really difficult in a Congregate living situation,” said Thompson. 

This makes these workers receiving the vaccine priority crucial because most clients could not make it alone, without constant care.

“A significant amount of individuals we serve, they would not be able to live, unless we went in there every single day. Either to feed them, bathe them, clothe them, to check upon them, and give them their medicines,” said Belusar. 

Those working in the industry tell me, they're glad the state of Indiana, saw the importance of keeping them safe at work. 

“It’s extraordinary that a state to take that level, because they're protecting, not only us as workers, but there are thousands and thousands of individuals that have IDD in the state of Indiana that is going to get protection,” said Belusar. 

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