Some people with developmental disabilities face troubles before and after vaccine

Posted at 6:03 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 13:03:08-05

While many people have found ways to live during the pandemic, some with developmental disabilities who can't do things like wear masks will still face issues even after being vaccinated.

Kevin Wendel, 18, is a senior at Lakota East High School with cognitive disabilities, and his father, Bud Wendel, said the pandemic has been hard on his son. Kevin's disability prevents him from wearing a mask, so any possible COVID-19 exposure means he must quarantine for two weeks.

"He's unable to participate kind of in society right now," Bud said. "He loves to go to school, he wants to run to the school bus, he's excited."

Bud said the worst day was the first time Kevin was quarantined.

"(Kevin) was actually on the bus getting ready to get buckled in and I got a call saying you have to take him off the bus, he can't come to school. That was a rough day."

Even with the vaccine on the way, Bud said Kevin's life will still be difficult.

"If he has the vaccine, people won't know, and he'll still be looked on poorly."

Businesses can still enforce mask policies, which prevent Kevin from going to some stores, despite Kevin's disability and being vaccinated.

"People with disabilities that have trouble wearing a mask aren't doing it for a political reason. They just can't," Bud said. "People have just gotten so militant about things that there's no compassion."

One hundred people with developmental disabilities in Butler County are scheduled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday. The Butler County Department of Developmental Disabilities will first vaccinate people in congregate living and support professionals before starting the next phase.