COVID-19

WID joins disability rights and emergency management experts from across the globe in issuing urgent calls to action for immediate strategies and solutions from governments at every level, including local, state, federal, tribal and territorial, to address the specific needs of persons with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and all public health emergencies. Check back regularly for updates as the situation continues to unfold.

WID’s Response

WID is working in collaboration with the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, the National Council on Independent Living Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee, and other local, national, and international groups to get people with disabilities the information, care, and supports to survive this pandemic.

Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration

World Institute on Disability (WID), the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (the Partnership), and ONG Inclusiva have joined forces to form the Global Alliance for Disability Resource Acceleration (Global Alliance or GADRA) as a “Call-to-Action” to galvanize disability-led organizations, foundations, corporations, and other allies to identify needs and link partners to accelerate assistance and resources, both during and after disasters.

On July 9, 2020 we came together with our partners and disabled leaders from 39 countries to introduce the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration, including our Steering Committee and Founder’s Circle.

Video recording from our virtual Launch + link to transcript:

Learn more about GADRA, including how to join us, by selecting the linked image:

Banner with text: Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration. Global Alliance logo - 6 arrows wrapping up and around an abstract globe shape, each arrow a different color - red, orange, purple, blue, green, and gray. Background: large matching arrows stretch from the bottom left to the top right of the frame over a pale blue background.

Global Disability + Disaster Town Hall Meetings

Leading up to the launch of the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration, we hosted two Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall Meetings via Zoom, bringing together hundreds of disabled leaders to discuss the experiences of people with disabilities and disability-led organizations in the coronavirus pandemic.

We will continue to host these Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall meetings on a monthly basis.

Next Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration Disability + Disaster Town Hall Meeting: September 17

Thursday, September 17, 2020
12 to 1:30 PM ET/4 to 5:30 PM UTC

International Sign & captions in English provided

Register: https://buff.ly/3lsRqsI
Sign up to be a speaker: https://buff.ly/3gHbNyu

GADRA logo; 6 arrows, each a different color of the rainbow, wrapping up and around an abstract sphere. Text: Save the Date - Thursday, September 17, 2020. Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration Global Disability + Disaster Town Hall #3. Register: https://buff.ly/3lsRqsI; Sign up to be a speaker: https://buff.ly/3gHbNyu.

To learn more about the Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall meetings, including video recordings,  transcripts, and polling results from previous sessions, visit the Global Disability and Disaster Town Hall page via the linked image below:

Text: Global Disability + Disaster Town Hall Meetings. Collage of ears, speech bubbles, hands signing, and a hand using a communication board.

COVID Blogs

WID has launched a new series of blogs about the experiences and needs of people with disabilities and disability-led organizations around the world during the pandemic. Check back every Wednesday for a new blog! Click on a linked photo below to read the full story.

Banner with text: COVID Blog: Mental Health in the Time of Corona. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint. Author photo of Kale Sastre, a white person with short brown hair, glasses, and a silver lip ring.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: How the COVID-19 Pandemic has Exacerbated Pre-Existing Ableism & Difficulties in India. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint. Author photo of Arundhati Nath, an Indian woman with shoulder length black hair. She is wearing a bright patterned top.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: The Stutter Box - The Alchemy of Support Groups for Stutterers. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint. Author photo of Emma Alpern, a white woman with shoulder length brown hair smiling.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: The Horros of the Nursing Home-Industrial Complex in Canada. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint. Author photo of a white woman with jaw length white-blonde hair. She is speaking into a microphone.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: In Uganda, COVID-19 restrictions are limiting access to sunscreen, critical for the survival of people with albinism. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint. Author photo of an Indian woman with chin length dark hair. She is smiling.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: Is Your Local Government Including People with Disabilities in Developing and Reopening Plans? Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: How the Indian Government and Judiciary Failed Disabled Migrant Workers. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: Impact of Face Masks on Communication & Education for Deaf People. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint.
Banner with text: COVID Blog: Intensifying medical hazards for people with disabilities. Icon of speech bubble with WID globe. Background photo of a hand typing on a laptop computer and author photo with a magenta tint.

Calls to Action

Click on the linked images below to read all of the calls to action and urgent recommendations:

Text over ACLU banner: WID Joins Petition to US Department of Health & Human Services for urgent relief RE: COVID-19 Response in Nursing Homes and Other Congregate Settings Where People with Disabilities Live
Text overlay: National Call to Action - Survey. Icon of clipboard with sun and globe.
Mint green text on deep blue background, reads: National Council on Disability COVID-19 letter to HHS Office for Civil Rights
Text overlay - recommendations for immediate action: rights and needs of people with disabilities who use personal assistance services & supports, COVID-19
World map of COVID-19 outbreak as of March 3, 2020, with text overlay: Urgent call to action: The Rights & Needs of People with Disabilities in COVID-19 Preparedness & Response.

 

Over 170 organizations have signed on to the original Call to Action and the list of supporters keeps growing. To sign on to the COVID-19 Call to Action, fill out the Call to Action sign-on form.

View list of signatories to the Call to Action

Additionally, read and share the Open letter to Vice President Mike Pence.

You can learn more about WID’s priorities for COVID-19 and all emergency response, as well as our CEO/Executive Director Marcie Roth’s 20+ years of experience working in disability inclusive emergency preparedness and response, via this recorded webinar from the Connecticut State Independent Living Council and Disability Rights Connecticut:

The Rights of People with Disabilities in Disasters

The rights of people with disabilities do not disappear in times of crisis. For information on the rights of people with disabilities in all disasters and public health emergencies and reporting rights violations, in the US and globally, please visit our Rights of People with Disabilities in Disasters & Public Health Emergencies page.

For more information on the rights of people with disabilities specifically in the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend the following resources from our colleagues:

Disability Rights International (DRI): COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF): Preventing Discrimination in the Treatment of COVID-19 Patients: The Illegality of Medical Rationing on the Basis of Disability

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR): Bulletin March 28, 2020– Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease

Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU): Survey to report cases of COVID-19-Related Forced Institutionalization

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN): Know Your Rights COVID-19 video series:

·       Transportation Rights

·       Housing Rights

·       Healthcare Rights: The Effects of COVID-19 on the African American Community

·       Stop The Spread in Jails & Prisons

·       Indian Health Services & Medical Rationing

·       Domestic Violence: The Right to be Safe at Home

·       Education Rights as a College Student

The Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities: COVID-19 Factsheet for People with Disabilities (Accessible PDF)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws

Communication First: COVID-19 Communication Rights Toolkit

Gill vs. Pennsylvania Department of Health: Federal lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Health filed on April 28 in Eastern District Court on behalf of nursing home residents for “denying appropriate safeguards and care to nursing home residents.”

Full text (PDFs):

Amended Complaint, Gill v. PA Department of Health (PDF)

Plaintiff Motion for Class Action Status, Gill v. PA Department of Health (PDF)

Firms representing the nursing home residents: Shrager & Sachs, Kanter, Bernstein & Kardon PCMassa, Butler, Giglione and Robert Peirce & Associates P.C.

News article with more details via the York Daily RecordPa. nursing home deaths spike 550 percent in one month, as state faces federal lawsuit by Candy Woodall

Resources

Additional resources for individuals with disabilities, disability-led organizations, and for people looking to understand the needs and concerns of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic.

More general resources for people with disabilities in disasters can be found on our Resources for People with Disabilities in Disasters and Emergencies page.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies: COVID-19 Community-Wide Resources (Google Doc, updating continually)

National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline: 

Smartphone with speech bubble and text overlay. Text: National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline. (800)-626-4959. Call us if you are disabled and need COVID-19-related medical advocacy or other support. Contact Disability Underground at: contact@disabilityunderground.org. In collaboration with The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies. #DisabledNotDisposable #NobodyIsDisposable #WeAreEssential #COVID19.

Image description: Smartphone with speech bubble and text overlay. Text: National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline. (800)-626-4959. Call us if you are disabled and need COVID-19-related medical advocacy or other support. Contact Disability Underground at: contact@disabilityunderground.org. In collaboration with The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies.

Hashtags: Disabled Not Disposable, Nobody Is Disposable, We Are Essential, COVID19.

World Health Organization (WHO): Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak

ONG Inclusiva: First International Survey on People with Disabilities and COVID-19 (PDF)

International Disability Alliance (IDA): COVID-19 Resource – Key advocacy messages, questions to ask on inclusion and signpost to resources to learn more (PDF)

International Disability Alliance (IDA): Toward a Disability-Inclusive COVID-19 Response: 10 recommendations (PDF)

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean: Guidance for People with Disabilities in the face of COVID-19 in the Americas and the Caribbean

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws

American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD): COVID-19 & Disability Videos (6)

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN): COVID-19 Case Tracker: Documenting the impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities in congregate settings

House Committee on Education and Labor: Member Briefing: Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

National Disability Institute (NDI): Listening Sessions – The Impact of COVID-19 on the Disability Community

University of California: Creating Accessible eCourses Checklist

June Isaacson Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant: Preparing for Hospitalization During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Checklist for People with Disabilities

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): Receiving Economic Impact Payments

National Disability Institute (NDI): Financial Resilience Center with COVID-19-specific information, covering: COVID-19 Stimulus; Employment/Unemployment; Public Benefits; Money Management; Housing, Food and Healthcare; Scams and more.

The Center for Public Representation: The CARES Act and Disability Priorities – What’s In It, What’s Not

Sins Invalid: Social Distancing and Crip Survival: A Disability Centered Response to COVID-19

Spina Bifida Association: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People with Spina Bifida Need to Know

Autism Society: Coronavirus Response & Resources Tool Kit

Novo Nordisk: 90 Days of Free Insulin to Those Left Uninsured Because of the Coronavirus

NYU Center for Disability Studies: Disability Justice and COVID-19 Resources

FCC: Guidelines requiring televised emergency information to be accessible

CDC: Guidance for People with Disabilities

CDC: Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness

CDC: Disability and Health State Programs

CDC: Releases New ASL Videos

COVAID: Connects community volunteers with those who need help by location and mutual aid networks nearby

Press

COVID-19 press referencing WID, our board members, and staff:

(July 22, 2020) American University Radio (WAMU 88.5): Disaster Relief For the Elderly And Disabled Is Already Hard. Now Add a Pandemic by Joseph Shapiro

(July 9, 2020) 3BL Media: Disability-Led Organizations, Corporations and Foundations Launch Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Newsroom

(July 8, 2020) Chicago Public Media (WBEZ): Relocating Some Nursing Home Residents Will Protect Them From COVID-19, Advocates Say by Esther Yoon-Ji Kang

(July 7, 2020) Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV): The Institutional Rescue and Recovery Coalition (IRRC) Press Conference: Decrying COVID Deaths (Video) and IRRC Press Packet (PDF)

(July 6, 2020) Forbes: Deadly Discrimination: The Forgotten Impact of COVID-19 On People With Disabilities by Stephen Frost

(July 1, 2020) The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: COVID-19 and Disabilities: Inclusive Disaster Planning Is Crucial for Vulnerable Populations by Stephanie Miceli

(June 23, 2020) American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): ACLU, SEIU, and Disability Rights Organizations File Petition Demanding HHS Mitigate the COVID-19 Crisis in America’s Nursing Homes and Other Congregate Settings for People with Disabilities 

(June 10, 2020) AXSChat: AXSChat with Marcie Roth – Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for the World Institute on Disability, hosted by Neil Miliken and Debra Ruh

(June 9, 2020) Disability Matters podcast: How WID Is Addressing Needs of People with Disabilities During COVID-19, hosted by Joyce Bender

(May 14, 2020) Ruh Global Impact: Facebook Live Interview with Marcie Roth by Debra Ruh

(April 30, 2020) The Chronicle of Philanthropy:  In Covid-19 Crisis, Philanthropy’s Attention Must Focus on People With Disabilities by Rich Besser and Darren Walker

(April 3, 2020) Brown Girl Green podcast via the Indie Creative Network: Climate Change & People with Disabilities: How’d we get here? Hosted by Kristy Drutman

(April 2, 2020) American Council of the Blind (ACB): Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities, on ACB Advocacy Update, hosted by Claire Stanley and Clark Rachfal, interviewing Marcie Roth.

(March 18, 2020) BBC interview with Marcie Roth on COVID-19 (audio with transcript)

 

Transcript: BBC COVID-19 Interview Transcript

 

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