The use of online support by people with intellectual disabilities living independently during COVID-19

M. Zaagsma*, K. M. Volkers, E. A. K. Swart, A. P. Schippers, G. van Hove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: During the COVID-19 outbreak, service providers in the Netherlands had to switch towards providing remote support for people with intellectual disabilities living independently. This study aims to provide insight into the use of online support during the outbreak. Methods: We analysed quantitative data on planned and unplanned contacts between the online support service DigiContact and its service users. Results: The results indicate that the COVID-19 outbreak and the related containment measures had a strong impact on online support use, specifically on the unplanned use of online support. Conclusion: Offering online support as a standard component of services for independently living people with intellectual disability enables service providers to be flexible and responsive towards fluctuations in both support needs and onsite support availability during a social crisis such as COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-756
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number10
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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