Disability Organizations Send Unified Letter to Vice President Pence and White House COVID-19 Task Force
Access Living, 60 Disability Advocacy Organizations, Ask Covid-19 Taskforce to Address Needs of People with Disabilities
Access Living was one of more than 60 disability advocacy organizations supporting the following letter.
Access Living, along with more than 70 other leading organizations representing the interests of persons with disabilities, sent the disability community’s National Disability Rights Call To Action today to Vice President Mike Pence asking him to make sure that the White House and relevant agencies involved in the COVID-19 effort expressly address the specific COVID-19 issues faced by persons with disabilities in all phases of COVID-19 planning and response. The National Disability Rights Call To Action supported by more than sixty organizations, lists six major areas that a COVID-19 strategy should address.
According to the letter: “We appreciate the work of the agencies participating in the efforts to contain COVID-19 and to deal with its effects. Yet, we have neither seen nor heard any discussion of a strategy to deal with anticipated and unexpected challenges encountered by persons with disabilities throughout this public health emergency.”
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published “Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities: National Standards for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Public Health.” This document specifically addresses continuity of operations and states, “Particular attention should be placed on accessibility of health and human services for at-risk individuals with access and functional needs who may be disproportionately impacted by a public health incident.”
We have seen nothing in the Administration’s strategy for COVID-19 indicating that continuity of services for people with disabilities is being addressed.
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The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies is the only national organization with a mission of equal access to emergency and disaster programs before, during, and after disasters for people with disabilities. We are the nation’s experts on disability rights, accessibility and inclusion throughout all phases of emergency preparedness, disaster operations, and community wide disaster recovery. www.disasterstrategies.org