Sensory Kits at Philly Vaccine Sites

Sensory kits make getting the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible.

According to the CDC, 2.2% of adults in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That is five and a half million adults. Many people with autism might be bothered by sounds or light. Large, noisy places like vaccine sites might be hard. It helps to know that there are sensory kits. These kits include a few items that may make getting a vaccine easier. There are fidgets, headphones that block out sound, weighted lap pads, wiggle seat cushions, and timers. And these tools are not just for people with ASD— they can help all people.

Along with supports such as American Sign Language interpreters and wheelchairs, these sensory kits will help all people get their vaccines. These tools are especially important because people with intellectual disabilities are now allowed to get vaccines in Philadelphia. If you want to use a sensory kit or any other tool while you are at a vaccine site, let a staff member know what you need. They will bring it over to you.

These sensory kits were paid for by a Philadelphia Autism Project seed grant and given out by TechOWL. TechOWL is a program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.  

To learn more, please contact Caitlin McKenney: email or call 215-204-5974.

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Alanna Raffel

Alanna Raffel is an occupational therapist. She has worked in a variety of settings including acute rehab, outpatient pediatrics, early intervention, and schools. She is passionate about accessibility and loves discovering and making new tools that promote independence. Alanna enjoys making assistive technology using her sewing machine and 3D printer.

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