MN LEND Fellows Support Sensory-Friendly Vaccine Clinics in the Community

January 12, 2022

In December 2021, AUCD trainee Alicia Zhang worked with MN LEND fellows Raniya Yimam and Brittany Miller to support a community-based, sensory-friendly vaccine clinic in Minneapolis, MN. Zhang, Yimam, and Miller are mentored by Dr. Jen Hall-Lande and Dr. Lynda Lahti Anderson at the MN LEND program at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), which is also the MN UCEDD. This sensory-friendly clinic is a collaboration among community partners, including the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM), the Multicultural Autism Action Network, and Hennepin County Healthcare. 

The MN LEND program provided volunteers to support children and families at the clinic. There is a significant need for sensory-friendly vaccine events because there are many barriers to getting autistic children vaccinated: fear of medical procedures, sensory overload, increased anxiety, or simply feeling overwhelmed. The goal of these clinics is to eliminate as many of those barriers as possible and increase access for children and families who may need a little extra time and space to get their vaccines.

Image description: Two LEND fellows standing next to each other smiling but wearing masks. They are standing next to a table. On the table are papers to check in people attending the vaccination clinic, masks, and stuffed animals.

Pictured: Brittany Miller (Left) & Raniya Yimam (right)