Updates from Access Living: Media Highlights, Stories, and Action Alert on Paid Medical Leave


April 15, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Updates from Access Living: Media Highlights, Stories, and Action Alert on Paid Medical Leave

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

Today, we have a few media stories to highlight, our story collection page, and then we’d like to talk about why comprehensive paid leave is important during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s a quick link to today’s email action alert.

Media Highlights: People with disabilities are speaking out about how COVID-19 is impacting our lives. Today, NPR’s Joe Shapiro released a piece at this link that features many amazing disability advocates, including Access Living’s own Dr. Angel Miles. Policy advocate Valerie Novack discusses why future pandemic planning must address the needs of people with disabilities and seniors in this piece, And, Andrew Pulrang discusses the fight against medical rationing in a piece from Forbes.

Access Living is Looking for YOUR COVID-19 Story: We want to hear how COVID-19 is affecting you as a person with a disability (or friend/family/ally of a person with a disability. Check out this page so you can get in touch. We want to help get your voice and your experience out there.

Advocacy Spotlight on Paid Leave, #WeAreEssential: As the COVID-19 crisis plays out, the economic impact on all kinds of workers is absolutely undeniable. Congress is currently engaged in work to figure out how to support workers during the crisis. Many people with disabilities work in gig or part-time roles that don’t currently get paid leave. Also, some people with disabilities have conditions that require them to work remotely if their workplace has an outbreak. Did you know:

  • 32% of disabled workers are employed part-time.
  • Disabled workers are more likely to work in gig or part-time roles, without access to employer-sponsored leave.
  • Disabled workers are more likely to be in essential service jobs.
  • COVID-19 has disrupted disabled people’s access to typical sources of care, making access to comprehensive paid leave that includes all caregivers even more important.
  • Congress only gave people with disabilities at high risk of death from COVID-19 two weeks of paid leave-they need the full 12 weeks to be safe.
  • Not all caregivers are parents. Some are siblings, some are grandparents and some are friends.

Disability advocates united under the leadership of national groups like the Center for American Progress, The Arc, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), Center for Public Representation (CPR), Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), Little Lobbyists, the Epilepsy Foundation, and others are working to bring this problem to the attention of Congress under the #WeAreEssential campaign.

Take Action on Paid Leave: Access Living has developed an email tool about this at this link so YOU can send an email to your member of Congress about this. Please take action, and ask your friends and families to use the tool too.