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August 30, 2022Advocacy Matters

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Health Care Barriers among People with Disabilities

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Health Care Barriers among People with Disabilities

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

August 30, 2022

 

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Pennsylvania COVID-19 Health Care Barriers among People with Disabilities

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Advocates know the COVID-19 health-care crisis has been difficult, and the impact of the pandemic has been staggering on individuals with disabilities and our families, especially those living in rural areas and the BIPOC communities. The Arc of Pennsylvania has published a new report that identifies the staggering effect of the pandemic and calls for greater diversity-inclusive planning in emergency response.

In Pennsylvania, and across the country, emergency response planning did not consider the unique needs of the disability community early in the pandemic. Nor did emergency planning account for the challenges people with disabilities face when accessing appropriate information or care.

The Arc of Pennsylvania, in coalition with disability, health care, and other advocates, just concluded a yearlong research project that included interviews, surveys, and regional meetings with hundreds of stakeholders. The Arc’s report, “COVID-19 Health Care Barriers among People with Disabilities,” is the first part of a multi-year effort funded by the PA Department of Health to improve health equity in the disability community.

Among the biggest issues Pennsylvanians with disabilities reported:

  • Barriers to accessible information.
  • Reduced access to testing, vaccinations, and necessary accommodations.
  • Increased risk of severe illness or death due to COVID-19.

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To access a copy of the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Health Care Barriers report, and to learn more about the work of the COVID-19 Health Disparities Statewide Leadership Task Force, visit www.disabilityrightspa.org. We have a link to the report and more information from The Arc of PA’s Task Force.

Links

https://thearcpa.org/healthcare-initiatives/