Derek Slap


Derek Slap



April 23, 2020

Senator Slap Asks Lamont Administration to Extend I/DD Assistance During COVID-19 Hospitalizations

HARTFORD – State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) has joined with other members of the Senate Democrats Caucus in asking the Lamont administration and the state Department of Public Health to create a more “uniform and compassionate” policy permitting the loved ones and caregivers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to accompany them into a hospital in the event of their hospitalization during the current COVID-19 crisis.

“As a member of the legislature’s I/DD Caucus, and as a longtime advocate for the opportunities and rights of people with disabilities, this is a policy change that is considerate and makes sense,” Sen. Slap said.

One month ago, the state Department of Social Services directed state hospitals to allow caregivers to accompany people with I/DD into a hospital — but only for people with I/DD who reside in group homes or other residential facilities supported by DDS.

Sen. Slap and Senate Democrats are now asking the Lamont administration to extend that policy to include persons with I/DD who also may reside in private homes or other community settings.

“The hospitalization of many people with I/DD – even in less trying times – can create problems that quickly spiral out of control, leading to the sedation and restraint of that person with I/DD. This is difficult for everyone involved as it imposes huge burdens on hospital staff that, in the current crisis, are already stretched to the breaking point,” Sen. Slap and Senate Democrats wrote. “Permitting someone to accompany the person with I/DD will make treatment far easier and more efficient, while at the same time being more compassionate for the person needing treatment… Accordingly, we respectfully request that you direct the Department of Public Health to implement one consistent patient support policy for all people with I/DD who might require hospitalization during this crisis.

Sen. Slap and Senate Democrats note that two weeks ago, New York State issued its own updated guidance policy on hospital visitation, requiring hospitals to permit a patient-support person at the patient bedside for several populations, including those for whom “a support person has been determined to be essential to the care of the patient, including patients with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities…”.

The letter is available online.