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people with disabilities

People With Disabilities Are Sharing COVID-19 Experiences

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RespectAbility is inviting to share online and bring solutions forward

Coronavirus fear is all around the world. People have started saving money and are now much concerned with their food intakes in order to strengthen their immune system. However, people with disabilities are disproportionally impacted by both the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the CDC report, approximately 90% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 have underlying conditions. As a little relief and to spread close awareness, the nonprofit disability organization RespectAbility is inviting people with disabilities to share experiences and organize online.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility said, “People with disabilities urgently need to be there for each other and to organize so leaders understand our lives and future are at stake.”

Spreading close awareness

RespectAbility is inviting people with disabilities from across America to join in a series of Zoom gatherings. The purpose of the gatherings is for individuals to share experiences, brainstorm ideas, prioritize issues and bring solutions forward to decision-makers and service providers.

The virtual events include separate sessions for people who are blind, use wheelchairs, are young adults with disabilities, have developmental disabilities, and for women with a variety of disabilities.

How difficult for people with disabilities?

People with disabilities who are at extreme risk from the virus have several other unique challenges. For example, people with disabilities who are living on their own have limited access to food.

It’s an urgency for governments to more so that people with disabilities who depend on SNAP benefits or the families of children with disabilities who use WIC can use them for online grocery deliveries and for delivery from local restaurants, avoiding risks of getting sick.

Other key issues for people with disabilities include:

The lives of people with disabilities in group and nursing homes are at risk from other residents and caregivers who may bring the virus into their facilities.

More online medical and mental health services are needed.

  • Accessible and appropriate online education is necessary for students with disabilities.
  • Immigrants with disabilities and their families must not be excluded from solutions to the current crisis.
  • An inclusive employment-first focus needs to be front and center in all employment programs for when the crisis lifts.
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