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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Report Release: Failures in COVID-19 Response Harm People with Disabilities and Older Adults

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies released a report tracking 154 consecutive daily stakeholder calls on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities and older adults throughout the United States.

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies released a report documenting the pandemic over 154 consecutive daily calls with disability and older adult stakeholders across the country. The Report: COVID-19 & Disability Rights Daily Calls: February 23 – July 31, identifies patterns showing the failure of the pandemic response to prioritize the lives of people with disabilities and older adults, despite making up over 42% of COVID-19 deaths. It also shows the disability and older adults stakeholders’ initiatives to anticipate and mitigate the unfolding crisis. 

“As the U.S. passes 5.5 million COVID-19 cases- and 72,958+ deaths- we host COVID-19 and Disability Rights Calls each and every day to discuss how we can prevent disabled people and older adults from continuing to bear the brunt of the pandemic,” says Shaylin Sluzalis, The Partnership’s Co-Executive Director, “So far, we have been used for medical experiments, denied equal access to testing and medical care, and left to die in nursing facilities and other congregate settings- even as they are epicenters of outbreaks. We need a national COVID-19 response that prioritizes the rights and lives of people with disabilities and older adults: We must do better.”

Daily call participants include stakeholders from across the country, including disabled persons organizations, advocates, public health policymakers, emergency planners, state and federal partners. Report: COVID-19 & Disability Rights Daily Calls: February 23 – July 31 provides an overview and summarizes the discussions held between February and July.

To join the listserv and daily calls, e-mail directors@disasterstrategies.org. For more information on COVID-19 and disability rights, visit COVID-19 Community-Wide Resources (Google Docs). 

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