People with learning disabilities are starting to be invited to make an appointment for their Covid-19 vaccination, and this will include some autistic people. Getting access to vaccinations might be difficult for some autistic people and their families. They might:

  • Find it difficult to book an appointment
  • Be scared of going to appointments
  • Have difficulties with waiting or queuing
  • Not know what help is available or how to get it

Our easy-read guide is intended to let you know what help is available for people in the Leeds area, and how they can access it. Click the image below to find out more, or scroll down to read the full information.  

We want to help make sure that anyone who wants the vaccine can get it. If you need help or more information please contact us and we’ll help as much as we can. You can contact us on:

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What are reasonable adjustments?

The Equality Act states that everyone with a disability who lives in the UK has a right to ask for reasonable adjustments to access healthcare; reasonable adjustments means doing things differently, or putting particular measures in place for a person to help make sure they are able to access the same level of healthcare as everyone else. If you, or someone you know, has a disability and wants the Covid-19 vaccination, they can ask for reasonable adjustments. 

What kind of reasonable adjustments could be made? 

Arrangements may be made so the person doesn't need to wait or queue to receive their vaccination. They may be able to have the vaccination somewhere that is more familiar, or where they feel more comfortable, such as their local GP surgery, pharmacy, or even while waiting in their car. 

People could be given a 'double appointment', to give them more time to settle in, adjust to their surroundings, and feel a bit more at ease with the clinicians. A learning disability nurse may be able to get involved to help people prepare for the appointment, or go along with them to provide reassurance. The clinicians delivering the vaccine may consider the use of topical creams, to numb the injection site before giving the jab. People should also be able to get additional help with communication, ensuring that vaccination professionals communicate in a way which is suited the individual.

How do I ask for reasonable adjustments?

You can speak to your GP and ask for reasonable adjustments, or complete a reasonable adjustments care plan and hand it in at your GP practice. If you live in Leeds, you can contact the NHS Autism and Learning Disabilities Team for help and advice:

Telephone: 0113 2066836

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @getmebetter

If I ask for reasonable adjustments, will I definitely get them?

It is not mandatory for clinicians for agree to all the adjustments that they have been asked to make; however, it is mandatory that they give a reason if they refuse any requests. Reasons requests are turned down may include things such as: not having the money or resources to carry out the request, that the request is not a safe way of doing things or that the time or space is not available to carry out the request. 

If you or someone you care for already accesses Leeds Autism Services for support, we can: 

  • Help you or the person you care for to book a vaccination appointment

  • Attend the appointment with you and/or the person you care for

  • Help you to fill out a reasonable adjustments care plan

  • Give you information about how to get extra help and where to get it from

  • Give you information about what getting the vaccination will involve