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COVID-19 and Childhood Disability

COVID-19 and Childhood Disability 

Globally, no one has been untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting closures of services, businesses and opportunities for social interaction. However, impacts of COVID-19 infection and subsequent closures are not equally distributed. This page presents research and reports related to disability specific COVID-19 effects and experiences from the IECSS project and from around the globe. 

Child sitting in wooden cubby at a childcare centre. Surrounding shelves contain wooden block toys and picture books.
A screenshot of an IECSS team meeting on Zoom with 8 people in attendance.

Research from IECSS Project 

Theory & Commentary

Primary Data 

  • Cacioppo, M., Bouvier, S., Bailly, R., Houx, L., Lempereur, M., Mensah-Gourmel, J., ... & ECHO Group. (2021). Emerging health challenges for children with physical disabilities and their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic: The ECHO French survey. Annals of physical and rehabilitation medicine64(3), 101429., external link
  • Cahapay, M.B. (2020): How Filipino parents home educate their children with autism during COVID-19 period. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 1-4., external link
  • Couper-Kenney, F., & Riddell, S. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on children with additional support needs and disabilities in Scotland. European Journal of Special Needs Education36(1), 20-34., external link
  • Dhiman, S., Sahu, P.K., Reed, W.R., Ganesh, G.S., , Goyal, R.K., & Jain, S. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on mental health and perceived strain among caregivers tending children with special needs. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 107, 103790., external link
  • Embregts, P. J. C. M., Heerkens, L., Frielink, N., Giesbers, S., Vromans, L., & Jahoda, A. (2021). Experiences of mothers caring for a child with an intellectual disability during the COVID‐19 pandemic in the Netherlands. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, external link
  • Jeste, S., Hyde, C., Distefano, C., Halladay, A., Ray, S., Porath, M., Wilson, R. B., & Thurm, A. (2020). Changes in access to educational and healthcare services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities during COVID-19 restrictions. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 64(2), 825-833., external link
  • Neece, C., McIntyre, L.L., Renning, R. (2020). Examining the impact of COVID-19 in ethnically diverse families with young children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 64(10), 739-749., external link
  • Willner, P., Rose, J., Kroese, B.S., Murphy, G.H., Langdon, P.E., Clifford, C., Hutchings, H., Watkins, A., Hiles, S., & Cooper, V. (2020). Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of carers of people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research Intellectual Disabilities, 33, 1523–1533., external link
A child is seated at a wooden table. The child is holding a set of car keys.
Empty playground area with chairs stacked in the left corner
An empty childcare classroom. Wood shelves filled with children's toys and a black and yellow sign with the text 'Under Construction.'

Organizational Reports

A child playing with a toy at a wooden table. Various children's toys are scattered on the table.
Table with a burgundy toque, craft supplies, and glue. Unfinished craft project left on table.


Various plastic toys for children on the carpeted floor of a childcare centre.
Various children's toys are scattered across a desk in a childcare centre.