Around the country, hospitals and other health care facilities have enacted strict no-visitor policies to contain the spread of COVID-19. While these policies often include exceptions for certain populations, like children, and in certain circumstances, like when a person is giving birth, many don’t include similar exceptions for people with disabilities who need support from family members or staff to have equal access to medical treatment.
To help combat the discrimination people with disabilities are facing as a result of these policies, CPR, together with CommunicationFirst, The Arc, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Bazelon Center, and DREDF, has released Evaluation Framework for Hospital Visitor Policies. This new guidance provides stakeholders with the legal framework for required reasonable modifications to state and hospital no-visitor policies, identifies a number of criteria for evaluating visitor policies, and provides examples from state policies. You can learn more about medical access during COVID-19, including information about medical rationing and hospital policies, here. More on the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on people with disabilities can be found here.