Background: This protocol outlines research to explore family members' and paid staff's perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers . Evidence suggests that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience disparities in healthcare access and utilisation . This disparity was evident early in the pandemic when discussions arose regarding the potential exclusion of this population to critical care .
Methods: An anonymous online survey will be conducted with caregivers, both family members and paid staff, to explore their perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 in terms of demographics, living arrangements, access to services, social distancing, and carer wellbeing . The survey will be developed by the research team, many of whom are experts in intellectual disability within their own jurisdictions . Using back-translation our team will translate the survey for distribution in 18 countries worldwide for international comparison . The survey team have extensive personal and professional networks and will promote the survey widely on social media with the support of local disability and advocacy agencies . Statistical descriptive and comparative analyses will be conducted . Ethical approval has been obtained for this study from University College Dublin's Human Research Ethics Committee (HS-20-28-Linehan). Dissemination: Study findings will be prepared in a number of formats in order to meet the needs of different audiences . Outputs will include academic papers, lessons learned paper, practice guidelines, reports, infographics and video content . These outputs will be directed to families, frontline and management delivering disability services, national-level policy makers, healthcare quality and delivery authorities, national pandemic organisations and international bodies.
Index: COVID-19, Caregivers Carers, Coronavirus, Health Disparity, Intellectual Disability, Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Pandemic