'Make Covid info accessible for mentally disabled' - RTHK
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'Make Covid info accessible for mentally disabled'

2021-06-18 HKT 18:36
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  • Angela Cui, an assistant professor at the Chinese University, says people with intellectual disabilities often struggle to understand epidemic-related information. Image: Shutterstock.
    Angela Cui, an assistant professor at the Chinese University, says people with intellectual disabilities often struggle to understand epidemic-related information. Image: Shutterstock.
A social work scholar says people with intellectual disabilities are being left behind because they struggle to follow information put out by the Hong Kong government about Covid-19.

Angela Cui, an assistant professor at the Chinese University, took part in a global study on the impact of the pandemic on intellectually-disabled people and their carers.

The study was carried out between August and October last year, and involved more than 3,700 carers from 12 countries, including the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

She said the survey found that in Hong Kong, only about a quarter of respondents were satisfied with the standard and timing of the information, compared with the average 60 percent satisfaction rate around the world.

"We found that persons with intellectual disabilities, they may feel they are overlooked in the pandemic, I can say, because most of the information related to Covid-19 is prepared for the general public, that means for persons who have deficit in reading, comprehension or cognition, they may not understand the general information very well," Cui said.

She told RTHK that the research highlighted the importance of making information accessible to all, as people struggled to make decisions without it.

"For instance, a young man with mild-graded intellectual disability shared that he could not understand the notice of Covid-19 vaccination when going for injection," she said.

Cui urged the government to release tailor-made information to people with special needs in a timely fashion.