Since our Premier, Daniel Andrews, announced that the wearing of masks would be a legal requirement from Thursday 23 July 2020 for anyone over the age of 12 (some exemptions apply), some uneasiness was created within the disability community. This surrounds not only the wearing of masks for people with heightened anxiety and sensory difficulties, but the confusion and fear that seeing people everywhere with their faces covered may bring. Thankfully, the disability community works fast to support each other and there are many great resources out there to support people to understand the who, what, why, where and how of wearing a mask or face covering.

On 8 August 2020, the Victorian State Government also released a directive that all community service workers, including disability support workers, wear eye protection while working with clients. Eye protection includes safety glasses, safety goggle and face shields in addition to face masks to protect the airways (nose and mouth).

Our Recreation Services Team has put together the following resources suitable for people of all ages and their families and support networks.

IOE social story – COVID-19-WEARING-A-FACE-MASK.pdf
IOE one pager – WEARING-A-FACE-MASK.pdf

Here are a few other resources we’ve found, thanks to Autism Little Learners. We suggest you take a look at each one and choose whichever social story would be most useful for your family or the person you are supporting.

Seeing Other People Wearing Masks – click here
What is Social Distancing – click here

There are also a range of great resources around about DIY masks. Some are as simple as four snips to an old (or new … ) sock! Getting people with extra worries involved in the process of making masks that’s just for them might help increase positive feelings around wearing a mask.  If you come across a resource or idea that might help others in the community, feel free to share it on the Interchange Outer East Facebook page.