CORNING, NY (WETM) – People with intellectual disabilities have the third-highest risk of covid-19 death according to a study from John Hopkins.

There are many possible factors in play here including underlying health problems, economic and social factors that may account for the higher risk.

“It ends up being that it represents just what it says, extra risk,” said Leisa Alger, ABLE2 Executive Director. “We have to take precautions to make sure that we are controlling as much as possible against the virus entering our population.”

The pandemic has taken a toll on many people with disabilities. Alger says that tools like video chatting has been helpful for many but isn’t as inclusive to all.

“For instance, zoom platform or other kinds of platforms that don’t take into account automatic captioning process, for folks that have who are hard of hearing or for folks that are visually impaired or even persons with fine motor skill problems, the fact that telemedicine exists isn’t quite as simple prospect as it might be for the rest of us,” said Alger.

Alger explained that one thing that could help people with disabilities is better access to the internet. Many people live in rural areas where access to services is difficult and hinders people’s communication.

“When we are living in the Pandemic world, that becomes a real constraint in terms of being able to check in on folks, have them have access to what they need,” said Alger. “We can’t say that we are reliant on that or that it’s helpful if everyone doesn’t have a universal access to it.”