As medical rationing becomes a reality, “quality of life” measures threaten disabled people like me. It is a strange time to be alive as an Asian American disabled person who uses a ventilator. The coronavirus pandemic in the United States has disrupted and destabilized individual lives and institutions. For many disabled, sick, and immunocompromised people like myself, we have always lived with uncertainty and are skilled in adapting to hostile circumstances in a world that was never designed for us in the first place. Want to avoid touching door handles by hitting the automatic door opener with your elbow? You can thank the Americans with Disabilities Act and the disabled people who made it happen.
Last week, a 99-year-old New Jersey man who went to an engagement party was arrested in New Jersey for defying the state’s ban on gatherings. In a separate case, a 100-year-old man violated a stay-at-home order by attending a funeral. While not as severe, many elderly Americans are flouting shelter-in-place directives and carrying on as usual. They’re hitting stores, visiting family and inviting over friends and neighbors.
They fear they could be denied lifesaving treatment if they end up in the hospital with COVID-19. Many Americans are anxious about contracting the novel coronavirus. Daniel Florio is absolutely terrified. The 50-year-old lawyer from Maplewood, New Jersey, was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that makes him unable to walk or use his arms. His disability makes him more vulnerable to the virus than most people, and he’s afraid of what will happen if he ends up in the hospital with a serious case. Intubated people cannot speak, and Florio would not be able to use gestures or otherwise communicate with his doctors. Given infection-prevention rules, his caregivers would likely not be allowed to accompany him.
Young people who entered this financial downturn with fewer resources than previous generations are enduring pain. The last time a serious economic downturn hit in 2008, Evan Schade was in high school and the crisis seemed like a news event that happened to other people. This time, as the coronavirus has brought the economy to its knees, it has become a personal affair.
Coronavirus frays the safety net for people with severe disabilities, leaving many at risk | LA Times
Sue Swezey, 83, has spent the last three weeks at home caring for her son John, who is 57 and severely autistic. John needs 24-hour supervision. He cannot cross a street safely. The other day, he used a metal fork to free a piece of bread stuck in a toaster. His mother rushed in to pull the plug.
Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payments, Treasury says in reversal | Philadelphia Inquirer
The Treasury announced late Wednesday that Social Security beneficiaries who typically do not file a tax return will automatically get the $1,200 payment. The announcement is a reversal from earlier in the week when the Internal Revenue Service said everyone would need to file some sort of tax return in order to qualify for the payments. Democrats and some Republicans criticized the IRS for requiring so many extra hurdles for this vulnerable population to get aid when the government already has their information on file.
For those with autism and invisible disabilities, the social isolation of the coronavirus pandemic is nothing new | The Hill
Our world changed in the blink of an eye. Arenas became empty, traffic disappeared overnight and millions stopped interacting with one another — all in an effort to keep each other safe and protect our way of life. As this time of social distancing continues, many are beginning to feel the effects of social isolation, unable to visit the places that bring them joy or see their friends and loved ones. Social isolation can be a dangerous thing. It can strip you of your defenses and leave you vulnerable to your emotions.
Coronavirus is scaring older Americans away from medicine. Here’s how doctors are helping |Today – NBC News
When a heart failure patient was recently scared to come in for a medical appointment during the coronavirus outbreak, Dr. John Tabacco examined the person while sitting in their car.
The patient, who was worried about swollen legs, drove to the parking lot of the medical practice for a “curbside visit” that wouldn’t require entering a building or sitting in a waiting room
Isolated at home with few services to help, a mother in San Francisco is terrified that her daughter’s progress will evaporate.
Few of us dream of spending our later years in a nursing home. Yet millions of older adults do—simply because they can’t get or pay for the care they need at home. Long-term services and supports (LTSS) help older adults and people with disabilities accomplish everyday tasks that many of us take for granted—bathing, dressing, fixing meals, and managing a home.
Life at the Intersection: Older Adults Need a Response to COVID-19 Grounded in Equity | Justice In Aging
Dorothy is in good spirits, but tired and growing increasingly impatient. In January – well before life for most Americans had been dramatically disrupted by COVID-19 with stay at home orders and the shut down of non-essential businesses – the 72-year-old Chinese American living in Seattle, Washington’s Chinatown began to see signs that her community’s life was slowing down. She’d been reading the daily headlines in the Chinese newspaper about the virus in Wuhan and other parts of China. But when the dim sum parlor across the street was only about a quarter full on a normally busy Saturday afternoon, and her building’s annual Lunar New Year celebration was cancelled, it all became real.
We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing additional stress on everyone, including parents, youth and children. To help anyone who experiences a crisis, we created a new resource page that lists free, national hotlines and helplines to address the areas of need listed below. We hope you will find them helpful in your efforts to remain safe and healthy and to provide support to others.
- Mental Health Treatment and Support
- Crisis and Suicide Risk
- Substance Use
- Child Abuse or Neglect
- Domestic/Family Violence
- Access to Food
AAPD Announces the Launch of the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program | AAPD
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is proud to announce its new initiative, the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program. This program is designed for young (ages 18 – 30) Black disabled advocates who are committed to boosting voter registration and civic engagement across Black communities leading up to the 2020 elections.
Since 2016, AAPD has worked alongside local and state partners through its REV UP Campaign to foster civic engagement and advance voting rights of Americans with disabilities. Despite advancements in civil rights protections, youth, people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities experience higher levels of voter suppression and inaccessibility. The United States’ voting population in 2018 was the most racially and ethnically diverse ever for a midterm election. The 2018 midterm election saw major upticks in voter participation across all marginalized communities, with the disability and Black communities leading the way at 14.2 million ballots cast and 15.3 million ballots cast respectively. AAPD recognizes that in order to continue building the power of the disability vote, it is critical to support initiatives that develop the leadership of multiply-marginalized voters.
“In the 2018 midterm elections the disability vote surged by 8.5 points. There will be over 30 million eligible voters across the Black and disability community in the 2020 elections, and we are pushing for an even higher increase of voter participation come November” says Keri Gray, AAPD’s Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications. “Still, there are far too many who face barriers to the polls. It is our responsibility to continue Fannie Lou Hamer’s work in fighting for the rights of underrepresented voters,” continued Gray.
Fannie Lou Hamer is a well-recognized civil rights activist and organizer for voting rights. Her work centered on elevating the rights of Black voters and women, particularly across the state of Mississippi. Hamer had polio as a child and later became physically disabled due to a severe beating in a Mississippi jail. In honor of her legacy and sacrifice, AAPD is proud to launch the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program.
Participants will receive a $1,500 stipend and have the opportunity to create a national nonpartisan campaign that promotes voter registration and participation. The program is scheduled to launch in May of 2020 and has three phases:
- Political Educations- Participants will engage in 3 trainings with experts across the civil rights community to learn about key political issues and gain guidance on building a voting campaign.
- Campaign Preparation- Participants will work creatively as a cohort to build nonpartisan material (ie- flyers, blogs, think pieces, social media content, videos) that can be used online to educate communities on the issues for 2020 and promote voter participation.
- Campaign Execution- Leading up to the November 2020 elections, participants will launch their campaign across online and social media platforms.
Applications for the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program are open through April 20, 2020
The U.S. Department of Labor issued temporary guidelines for rationing and reusing filtering respirators amid the ongoing face mask shortage Friday alongside additional guidance on the new federal sick leave mandate and the recent unemployment expansion.
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