The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a threat to people across the country, but particularly people with disabilities. People with disabilities are expected to be especially hard hit not only because they are far more likely to fall into the “high risk” category of people likely to develop more severe cases if they are infected by the virus than the population at large, but also because of:
- The risk of discrimination in treatment if they do contract the virus
- Difficulties in maintaining the home and community based services (HCBS) many people with disabilities rely on if care workers get sick or programs close
- Difficulty receiving medications they need because of pharmacy shortages or insurance limitations
- Changes made to public and paratransit systems in response to COVID-19
- And much more
We continue to closely monitor the situation and are fighting to ensure the needs of people with disabilities remain central to any legislative or agency action taken in response. Please visit the following pages to learn more:
Overview and Resources: Here, you’ll find a brief overview of the federal response to COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities, along with general resources and advocacy materials.
Legislation: On this page, you’ll find details on all federal legislation related to the coronavirus, including both pending and passed bills, and resources and analyses related to that legislation, including information on the disability community’s legislative priorities.
Advocacy: This page has information on advocacy efforts underway, with a particular focus on those you can participate in to help us ensure disability community priorities are included in the next COVID-19 response bill.
COVID-19 Waivers: Here, you can find any guidance released from federal agencies regarding Medicaid emergency authorities that may impact the provision of home and community based services (HCBS), including Section 1135 and 1115 waivers, and modifications to Section 1915(c) HCBS waivers through Appendix K emergency authority, along with state activities in response to that guidance.
Medical Rationing & Hospital Visitor Policies: This page details the fight against disability discrimination in accessing medical treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, including discriminatory policies around rationing medical care and hospital no-visitor policies. Here you will find complaints filed with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR), legal analyses, letters to state governors and to HHS OCR, and details on guidance from HHS OCR.
Vaccine Allocation: On this page, you can find federal and state frameworks and related resources for the allocation of a potential coronavirus vaccine, as well as advocacy letters and resources that detail disability community priorities for allocation.