UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Living through the Pandemic with a Disability : A Longitudinal Qualitative Study Chan, Janice; Mohammadi, Somayyeh; Esfandiari, Elham; Schmidt, Julia; Mortenson, W. Ben; Miller, William C.


This study investigated the experiences of people with disabilities during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted individually with 13 participants between May 2020 and February 2021. The data were thematically analyzed. Three themes were identified: (1) “Being an active agent in changing how things are done in the face of COVID restrictions”, revealed changes that participants made to their daily routines resulting from government-imposed and self-imposed restrictions; (2) “Pandemic restrictions wreak havoc”, explained participants challenges with adapting to the restrictions; and (3) “Trying to be resilient in the face of pandemic changes” described participants’ efforts to cope with life during the pandemic. The findings illustrate how life changed for people with disabilities during the pandemic. Participants reported specific types of challenges at each time point. As the vaccine rollout became more imminent, participants expressed more hope for the future and getting back to normal.

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