Webinar: COVID Vaccine Part Two

audio version (opens in a new tab)

Introduction

This blog post is the most recent installment in my occasional articles about the coronavirus and people with disabilities. My

February 4, 2021 blog post about COVID vaccine

Focused on a workshop intended for Delawareans. On March 29, 2021, I listened to a March 24 national webinar about the subject. This session, moderated by the Great Lakes ADA Center, is entitled

“Access to COVID-19 Vaccines: Issues and Barriers for Persons with Disabilities”.

The link above provides presentation materials and recording. In this article, I will summarize what I learned.

ADA Title II Requirements

The first presenter was from the

“mid-atlantic ADA Center”.

Under Title II of the ADA, only some buildings used by state and local governments are required to be accessible. Information about buildings which are accessible should be made available to the public. Under Title III, businesses need to be accessible if doing so is achievable. Under both titles, facilities used for a temporary purpose need to be accessible to people with disabilities. The discussion then focused on inclusivity and communication.

Communication and Inclusivity

Communication needs to be effective for people with disabilities. This includes access to web sites. Ideally, web sites should be easy to understand and navigate. To be inclusive for people with disabilities, communication should use as many methods as possible. It is also important to consider needs for a variety of people with disabilities. For example, some people are unable to stand in long lines for a disability reason. The webinar then focused on the second presentation.

California’s Experience

The second presenter is Executive Director of

“disability rights California”.

In California, that state’s governor chose to allow people under age 65 with a high-risk medical condition to receive a vaccine. Vaccine appointment web sites and vaccine locations both vary in accessibility for people with disabilities. The webinar then had a question-and-answer session.

Q&A

Some themes discussed during both presentations featured prominently in the question section of the event. Speed of vaccination distribution and equity (number of people) can sometimes be contradictory. Both presenters agreed that the vaccine should go to as many people as possible. For example, if someone has no form of transportation to a vaccine site for a disability reason, a modification to county policy allowing in-home administration may be necessary for ADA compliance. Another issue raised in question and answer section was vaccine web site accessibility. The presenter from California said there should be more than one way to schedule a vaccine appointment. Making web sites easy to navigate can help people, including those with disabilities, access relevant information. Making appointment scheduling available in more than one way can also help people with disabilities determine in advance whether vaccine locations are accessible.

Additional Resource

I am also sharing a resource here which I became aware of from another source. The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities has a vaccine-related web site.

“Get Out The Vaccine”

Highlights benefits of getting the Covid vaccine from a disability perspective. It also provides useful resources which anyone may find useful. Bottom line: Communication is crucial.

Question for Readers

Question for readers: If you experienced difficulty getting the vaccine for disability reasons, what happened? I will return with another article.

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