April 9, 2021
Partnership with County Ensures Equal Access to Vaccine Resources
Local, state, and federal governments are working quickly to get the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible. El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) is no exception. As of April 13, 2021, almost 200,000 residents aged 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.
However, the message can be slower and more difficult to get out to certain segments of the population than others. For people with disabilities, this can be because of uncertainty about how to get the vaccine, whether the vaccine location will be able to accommodate them, and whether American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be available.
To help address these concerns, The Independence Center reached out to EPCPH about creating and distributing a fully accessible video with vaccination information. Michelle Hewitt, Public Health Information Officer for EPCPH, immediately understood the value of the project and signed on to help produce the video.
“El Paso County Public Health is committed to increasing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by reducing barriers such as language, technology, transportation and geography,” notes Hewitt. “It’s imperative that everyone has access to the resources and facts they need to make an informed decision, and to make it as easy as possible to get connected to a vaccine provider.”
With the County onboard, The IC enlisted the help of Amelia Dall, a Deaf archeologist who also provides consulting services, video production, and ASL translation. Dall signed, filmed, edited, and captioned the video, which was then sent to Jennifer Schreuder, City of Colorado Springs Communications Specialist, for voiceover work. The completed video resides on EPCPH’s Webinars and Education webpage, as well as The IC’s COVID-19 resource page.
In addition to the video, EPCPH has also added an ASL interpreter icon next to clinics that have Video Remote Interpreting so Deaf individuals can easily find which clinics can accommodate them.
“We are so thankful for this valuable partnership with EPCPH,” says Patricia Yeager, CEO of The IC. “Their willingness to collaborate with us on this project ensures that all members of our community have equal access to the vital health care they need to keep themselves and others safe.”
You can view the video below or by visiting our YouTube page.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and where you can get vaccinated, visit elpasocountyhealth.org.