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Since the coronavirus continues to be a frequent topic in the news, this blog post is my latest article about COVID and people with disabilities. On April 22, 2021, the
Hosted a webinar entitled “Vaccine Access for People with Disabilities: Guidance, Funding, Strategies, and Best Practices”. Here is the
Archived presentation recording and materials.
In this article, I will summarize what I learned.
The first representative is Acting Administrator of the
Administration for Community Living.
People with disabilities need community access to services. It has been difficult for some people with disabilities to access medical treatment. Inclusion of everyone (also known as equity) is important. The discussion then focused on a legal perspective.
The second presentation was from the.
Office of Civil Rights under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Civil rights protections do not change under COVID. For example, some people with disabilities need support persons while in the hospital. Administrative barriers to disability discrimination should be removed from a legal perspective. For example, different ways to access vaccine information is necessary and registration for vaccine appointments should be simple. Additionally, a vaccine can be provided in-home if there is a disability reason to do so. If masks are required, an alternate accommodation could be short time at a vaccine location or vaccines provided curbside. If forms must be filled out on-site, assistance must be provided when needed to accommodate a disability. Effective communication and outreach are also important.
An online registration process should be accessible to everyone. Using a telephone instead is, according to a presenter, not a sufficient accommodation. Information should be accessible to people in a variety of ways. Questions and answers wrapped up the event.
Someone asked if it is ok to provide outreach about vaccines to particular disabilities. Doing so is permissible because as many people as possible should be offered a vaccine. ACL stated they are committed to accessibility for everyone, including those with disabilities.
Question: If you have experienced difficulty getting the vaccine for a disability reason, what happened? I will return with another article.