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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 & Disability Rights Resources

This page contains information and resources regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and how it relates to disability issues. This page will be updated regularly as new information is released.

DRSD Offices

Until further notice, Disability Rights South Dakota is not accepting any walk in clients at our offices due to COVID-19 concerns. We are still open, however, to receive phone calls. So if you are in need of assistance, or have disability-related questions or concerns, please contact us at 1-800-658-4782 or 605-342-2575. You may also complete an online intake form at https://drsdlaw.org/intakeform/

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is currently available for low to no cost to you. There are several options available, depending upon how quickly you need a test. For more information about your options, check out our COVID-19 Testing Resources page.

COVID-19 Vaccinations 

People with disabilities have the right to access the COVID-19 vaccine. In most cases, if you want to get the vaccine, you can. No one can keep you from getting it just because you have a disability or need extra help. If you have a disability and are having trouble accessing the vaccine, contact Disability Rights South Dakota at 1-800-658-4782 or 605-224-8294.

Learn more about your rights in the video below. A Spanish Version is also available.

 SD DOH COVID-19 Vaccine InformationThe Department of Health has a great website with information pertaining to COVID and vaccine related information.

 Immunize SDImmunize South Dakota is a dedicated network of community partners working together to increase immunization rates and prevent disease through education and outreach.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance

If you’re a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities, or other housing costs – or if you’re a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation – help may be available. State and local programs are distributing billions of dollars in rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic. Learn more about resources available by visiting our Rental Assistance Resources page.

DRSD COVID-19 Fact Sheets

 Your Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 COVID-19 and Employment Considerations for Persons with Disabilities

 COVID-19 and Educational Rights of Children with Disabilities

SD DOH & Other Reliable Resources

*Please protect yourself from coronavirus-related scams by seeking out accurate information from legitimate sources such as the CDC and other reliable agencies linked below. 

 SD Department of Health Updates - For updates on the number of cases and response measures in South Dakota.

 CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Website - The CDC website includes the most current information about the coronavirus.

 CDC Toolkit for People with Disabilities - A comprehensive COVID-19 toolkit designed for individuals with disabilities. 

 World Health Organization - WHO provides information on how to protect yourself, travel advice, and answers to common questions.

 National Institutes of Health - NIH provides updated information and guidance about the coronavirus. 

Plain Language Resources

 COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities - A plain language information guide created by Green Mountain Self-Advocates. There is also a Spanish version available on their website.

 Coronavirus Plain Language Glossary - A glossary of coronavirus terms explained in plain language. This resource was developed by the Green Mountain Self-Advocates.

 Know Your Rights to Medical Care - A fact sheet to "Know Your Rights to Medical Care for COVID-19."

Education and School Resources

 Back to School Re-entry Education Series - SD Parent Connection and the Department of Education, Special Education Programs are hosting a Parent Education Series to help you get ready for re-entry into school.

 SD Department of Education - Strong Schools 2020-21

 US Department of Education Return to School Roadmap - A resource for parents on returning to in-person learning.

 Long COVID Under Section 504 and IDEA - A resource to support children, students, educators, schools, service providers, and families (OCR factsheet)

 Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools - CDC guidance

 Starting Well 2020 - From the SD Department of EducationThis webpage from the SD Department of Education houses resources designed to inform school leaders as they make decisions about the back to school process.

   Starting Well 2020: A Guide for Special Education

Joint Statement on Serving Students with Disabilities During COVID-19 Outbreak - A joint statement from the SD Department of Education, Disability Rights South Dakota and South Dakota Parent Connection on educational services for students with disabilities during COVID-19.   PDF Version

 Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities - Supplemental Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Education

 Q & A on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Outbreak - This document outlines states’ responsibilities to children with disabilities and the staff serving these children during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 COVID-19 Home Learning Resources - The SD SFEC team put this collection of resources together to help families and educators guide student learning while school is out. You can sign up for their newsletter to get daily digests sent straight to your inbox.

 NDRN Education Resources During COVID-19 - Educational resources compiled by the National Disability Rights Network.

 COVID-19 Information in ASL - A video series by the CDC that provides relevant information in ASL.

 US Department of Education - COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel

 SD Department of Education - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Schools

 How to Balance Children's Screen Time During the Pandemic - A guide by teach.com.

Mental Health

 Mental Health America  - Provides many resources for individuals who have mental health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 NAMI South Dakota - South Dakota's National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

 Taking Care of Behavioral Health - "Tips For Social Distancing, Quarantine, And Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak" from SAMHSA

 SAMHSA COVID-19 Resources - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a great resource page with all kinds of information about mental health services and treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 NAMI COVID-19 Guide - A comprehensive resource guide on mental health issues during COVID-19 from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

 Supporting Children's Emotional Well-being During the Pandemic - Information on supporting and protecting children’s emotional well-being during COVID-19 from child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.


 What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws - Resource from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

 Labor Department Warns Against Unemployment Insurance Scams - Find information on how to avoid scams related to unemployment insurance.

Absentee Voting

 DRSD Statement on Voting During COVID-19 - With local and primary elections approaching fast, South Dakota voters will need to determine the safest way to vote. While voting at a polling site on election day is the preferred choice, there are other options such as early voting or requesting an absentee ballot, to help keep everyone safe during this unusual election season. Read this statement to learn more about how to vote absentee.

 Secretary of State Absentee Voting - With the current health concerns and recommendations for social distancing, DRSD has received questions regarding when and how to absentee vote. Absentee voting for the June 2nd Primary elections begins April 17th, and you can also request to vote in city and school elections absentee. Above is the link to the Secretary of State's website that details the process and provides the form needed to request an absentee ballot. You will see a spot on the form for a notary- if a notary is not available, a copy of a state photo ID can be sent with the application. Please contact DRSD with any questions.

OCR Guidance

 Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  - (Updated 4/3/2020) - In light of the Public Health Emergency concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing this bulletin to ensure that entities covered by civil rights authorities keep in mind their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, and exercise of conscience and religion in HHS-funded programs.


 ERLS - What Renters Need to Know About the New Eviction Moratorium - Guidance from East River Legal Services on the new eviction moratorium and how it might apply to you. 

Other Helpful Resources

 Center for Disabilities COVID-19 Resources - To provide updates and access to information related to COVID-19, the Center for Disabilities compiled a list of resources on a variety of topics for people with disabilities.

 Corona Virus Help - Sioux Falls - Website for individuals in Sioux Falls to be able to receive help getting essentials, food, and laundry services during COVID-19.

 Helpline Center COVID-19 Response - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 211 Helpline Center is providing up to date information, assistance in finding food or other basic essential needs, and connecting volunteers with those who need them.  In addition to connecting individuals with resources, they are also providing a centralized location for organizations and businesses to list available assistance, closures and cancellations, and program restrictions.

 Military Heroes Fund - COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program - The COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program was created to provide financial assistance to all Veterans, Active Duty, Reserves and National Guard who are experiencing a financial setback due to the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation is prioritizing assistance to those who have lost their primary/only income or have an increased financial burden as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note, this program is no longer accepting applications. 

 USICH COVID-19 Homelessness Resources - Resources regarding homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Diabetes Rights: COVID-19 - The American Diabetes Association has created a webpage with information and resources to assist people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 What Now? Tips to help you navigate during COVID-19 - A resource guide from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. "The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our community. This guide is to help you navigate recent events. If you or a family member may have recently lost employment, childcare, or other support, this guide will help you prioritize staying safe while actively planning for several weeks of disruption in employment and income."

 COVID-19 Utility Response in Rapid City - A guide from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation that provides information about the utility response in Rapid City during COVID-19.

Virtual Programming for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - On this website from The Arc, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their caregivers can find and share on-demand activities that they can use whenever it is convenient for them in the comfort of their own homes. Service providers can also find and share resources that they can use to facilitate or deliver live, remote programming for people with IDD.