Today, the Center for Public Representation, together with Disability Rights Nebraska, The Arc of the United States, and other state partners in Nebraska, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) over Nebraska’s ongoing failure to provide access for Nebraskans with disabilities to TestNebraska. The State’s COVID-19 testing program currently requires the ability to access and use the internet and then the ability to drive to a testing site. TestNebraska began operations on May 4, 2020 but as of today’s filing, no plan has been made for Nebraskans who do not have the ability to drive or use the internet due to a disability.
The complaint charges that TestNebraska discriminates by leaving behind Nebraskans with disabilities in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. “COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting people with disabilities nationwide,” said Alison Barkoff, CPR’s Director of Advocacy. “This is especially true for people living in congregate settings like nursing homes and group homes, where most residents lack transportation and cannot drive themselves to a mobile testing site. We hope this complaint ensures Nebraska finally makes its testing program accessible to all Nebraskans, especially those who are most at-risk.”
Read the full press release on the complaint here.
More information on medical rationing during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on disabled people can be found here.