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News Release - Researchers working to support people living with disabilities during the pandemic

Monday, April 27, 2020

(April 2020) Queen’s University researchers Mary Ann McColl, Amy Latimer-Cheung and Jennifer Tomasone are working to ensure people living with disabilities are not forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic. People with disabilities are facing unique challenges including maintaining physical strength, lacking support in the home, needing expendable supplies such as surgical gloves and being afraid to leave the home. 

Drs. Latimer-Cheung and Tomasone, along with Kathleen Martin Ginis (University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus) have launched a free, evidence-informed, telephone-based physical activity coaching service for Canadians with a physical disability. 

Run by the Canadian Disability Participation Project (CDPP), Get In Motion provides Canadians with a physical disability an opportunity to speak with a Physical Activity Coach (PAC) who provides support to start or maintain an at-home physical activity program. 


“Not only are people with disabilities particularly vulnerable during times of instability such as this, but difficult times can also substantially add to their challenges.” 
Mary Ann McColl, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Public Health Sciences 

“Canadians with a physical disability are high risk group for COVID 19. Self-isolation is critical to the well-being of individuals with a physical disability. With social distancing restrictions, being active is proving difficult for all Canadians, especially individuals with a physical disability.” 
Dr. Tomasone, Kinesiology and Health Studies 

“Twenty per cent of the population is living with a disability, many of whom do not have a partner, spouse, or children for support. This means they are home and completely on their own. We need to place an emphasis on the health of persons with a physical disability as they are a high-risk group for contracting COVID-19 and other chronic conditions.” 
- Dr. Latimer-Cheung, Kinesiology and Health Studies 


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Media contact 
Anne Craig, Media Relations Officer