Read our letter crafted by our Executive Director and several partner organizations to Governor Polis regarding the Survival of People with Disabilities during COVID-19 Pandemic.
Download the fully accessible PDF Version
1385 S. Colorado Blvd., #610-A
Denver, CO 80222
March 25, 2020, via Electronic Mail
The Honorable Jared Polis
Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Room 136
Denver, CO 80203
Re: Survival of People with Disabilities during COVID-19 Pandemic
Dear Governor Polis,
We want to start this letter by thanking you for your extraordinary leadership during this crisis. Unlike our peers in other states, we are being included in policy decisions and working closely with members of your team (like Elisabeth Arenales) and your cabinet (Kim Bimestefer, Michelle Barnes, Jill Hunsaker-Ryan, and others). We appreciate being involved and allowed to help your administration make the best possible decisions in a horrible situation.
People with disabilities and chronic health conditions are doubly vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis: they are vulnerable to acquiring the virus and to suffering more severe effects, and they are vulnerable to healthcare discrimination that may deny them necessary care. As a result, Coloradans with disabilities and chronic health conditions are experiencing escalating fear and anxiety, on top of any physical effects of the viral illness. We need your continued leadership to communicate and ensure that Colorado will protect
the rights and access to care of disabled people of all ages.
Colorado has a strong and united disability community that includes ADAPT, Centers for Independent Living, Arc Chapters, Disability Law Colorado, numerous organizations representing specific disability groups such as the Colorado Metal Wellness Network, the National Federation of the Blind Colorado chapter, and the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind. The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) is the largest statewide organization run by and for people with all types of disabilities and we are working to coordinate with this amazing community to help with ongoing information dissemination and input to your team on policy issues. We are lucky to have such a strong and united community. This letter is written on behalf of many of these organizations, we wanted to get it out quickly so did not put extended time into sign-ons, but please note the organizations signed on below.
CCDC and others thank you for the swift and decisive actions that you have taken to protect the people of Colorado from COVID-19, reduce community spread, and flatten the curve. Your leadership will protect people with disabilities and their families from the virus’s accelerating spread, including daily increases in the deaths. Our community now asks that you take the following actions to ensure that people with disabilities receive equitable and effective healthcare in Colorado which will, in turn, help maintain the health of all Coloradans.
The prospect of shortages of medical staff and equipment for treating those made severely ill by COVID-19 has triggered a discussion of “rationing” medical care.
While the coronavirus crisis poses serious challenges to our social and health care systems, federal laws including the ADA, Section 504, Section 1557 of the ACA, and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) prohibit any “rationing” measures by public or private entities which discriminate on the basis of disability. Denying care to disabled individuals who are likely to benefit from care is unlawful.
Moreover, swift and efficient action now may prevent or ameliorate the need for untenable rationing decisions. There are additional reserves of ventilators and other medical equipment and supplies maintained by hospitals and the U.S. Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.¹ Colorado must follow its own policy statements to ensure that these stockpiles are allocated based on objective need – and distributed throughout the state of Colorado so that health care workers have them on-site.² If existing numbers are projected to be insufficient, Colorado must procure additional equipment and supplies.
People are looking for factual information, honestly, and assurances. As Governor, you are the best person to speak out about the state’s efforts to alleviate widespread fear and anxiety among vulnerable populations, including Coloradans with disabilities.
We further urge the Governor and state agencies to swiftly issue a directive to health plans and insurers, hospitals, and other medical providers on maintaining their obligations under state and federal disability nondiscrimination laws during the coronavirus crisis, including in the allocation of scarce medical resources. Such guidance should include the following basic principles:
Covered entities should be permitted to prioritize those with a greater urgency of need, and delay non-urgent care. They need not allocate scarce resources to individuals with no reasonable chance of survival. But people with disabilities should not face discrimination in seeking life-sustaining care that they will benefit from. The lives of people with disabilities are equally valuable to those without disabilities, and healthcare decisions based on devaluing the lives of people with disabilities are discriminatory. Benefit should be derived solely based on medical evidence, not a belief about the life of the patient.
Individuals with various disabilities who rely on personal care assistance face a dilemma during the COVID-19 crisis. No person with a disability should have to choose between catching a potentially deadly new virus and receiving the assistance needed to perform critical activities of daily living such as toileting, eating, dressing, etc. Personal care assistants whether paid or unpaid, should not be required to perform their duties without proper protective equipment to ensure both their own well-being as well as the continued well-being of their own families and other clients with disabilities or face the ethical dilemma of rendering necessary duties while beginning to feel sick.
The following measures are needed to preserve the well-being of people with disabilities while they shelter in place:
Even short gaps in coverage of personal care attendants and related services can lead to worsened health and unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization, contrary to the integration principles adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999). These risks are sharply heightened by the dangers posed by the coronavirus.
CCDC and the signatories below urge the following additional steps to ensure that disabled Coloradans are safe in their homes and communities with supports during the COVID-19 crisis:
We ask that Colorado take steps to bolster financial and human resources in Colorado’s legal service organizations to ensure that they have – the capacity to provide timely representation for individuals who face unlawful medical “rationing” based on disability, any unnecessary and involuntary institutionalization, evictions, benefits issues and other forms of discrimination in COVID-19 treatment and testing.
From past disasters, we know that legal services needs tend to peak 2-12 months after the disaster “ends”. Additional legal services support will be required for the next year. Specifically, Disability Law Colorado, Colorado Legal Services, Colorado CrossDisability Coalition, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, and The Colorado Center for Law and Policy will need support to meet the legal needs of low-income Coloradans with Disabilities.
We further ask that you ensure that Colorado and its agencies respond immediately and effectively to any reports or complaints indicating that the rights of people with disabilities are being violated. While this must include prioritization and streamlining of administrative complaint procedures at all relevant agencies to respond affirmatively and forcefully to any formal or informal report.
Our state has long been a leader in many aspects of healthcare, accessibility, and civil rights protections for people with disabilities. Colorado, as the home of the Atlantis Community, the organization that created ADAPT is the birthplace of the internationally known disability rights movement. Help us to maintain our reputation as a leader in preserving the rights of people with disabilities. We would welcome the opportunity to continue to work with your administration on ensuring that people with disabilities in our state receive equal and effective healthcare during the COVID-19 crisis under the priorities detailed above.
Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
Ailsa Wonnacott, Association for Community Living, Boulder and Broomfield Counties
Martha Mason, Executive Director, Southwest Center for Independence
Wilfred Romero, The Arc – Pikes Peak Region
Darla Stuart, Executive Director, The Arc of Aurora
Larry McDermott, The Arc of Weld County
Timothy Fox, Attorney at Law, Senior Partner, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Sara Froelich, Chronic Care Collaborative
Lisa Franklin, Executive Director, Parent to Parent
Candie Burnham, Executive Director, Atlantis Community, Inc.
Robert A. Lawhead, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council
Christiano Sosa, Executive Director, The Arc of Colorado
Hope Hyatt, Colorado Mental Wellness Network
Christine Fallebell, The American Diabetes Association
Ian Engle, Executive Director, Northwest Colorado Center for Independence
Jessalyn Hampton, National MS Society
Judith I. Ham, Ability Connection Colorado
Eileen Doherty, Colorado Gerontological Society
Barbara Henry, Domino Service Dogs
Linda Skaflen, Executive Director, The Arc of Adams County
¹ Dan Lamothe, “Pentagon offers respirators, ventilators and labs in expanding coronavirus response,” Washington Post (Mar. 17, 2020) (describing the release of 5 million masks and 2,000 ventilators from military stockpile), https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/03/17/pentagon-offersrespirators-ventilators-labs-expanding-coronavirus-response/;
² Surge Standards, Foundational Knowledge, § 8.4.3, Allocation of Ventilators for Pandemic Influenza, http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/php/258/258_foundation.pdf (“[T]he allocation of ventilators from State and federal stockpiles must take into account the ratio of local populations to available resources, designating appropriate resources for the most vulnerable who are most likely to suffer the greatest impact in any disaster.”).
Written by Andrew C. Montoya,CCDC Legal Program Attorney
As of Thursday, March 26, 2020, precisely at 6:00 a.m., the State of Colorado is under a Stay At Home executive order, issued by Governor Jared Polis. Of course, much of the State was already under local Stay At Home orders issued by county authorities, including Denver, Boulder, Jefferson Counties, and the Tri-County Health order covering Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. That’s a lot of pages of dense text, with facts and findings, definitions and prohibitions, and other unfriendly phrasing that’s no fun to read. But worry not, dear friends! Thanks to the venerable Julie Reiskin, I, your friendly neighborhood disability rights lawyer, am here to provide an easy-to-read summary.
Of course, since I am a lawyer, I do have to take a moment to provide a brief disclaimer: this does not constitute legal advice and reading this does not create an attorney-client relationship. You may wish to consult with a lawyer before taking any actions that might violate any of the county or state Stay At Home orders.
Now, on to the main event: the orders! All of the Stay At Home orders, whether at the state or county level, are very, very similar. In fact, most use identical verbiage for most of the orders, changing only the name of the locality. There are a few minor differences—Broomfield’s being shortest and to the point, for instance—but the upshot of them all is the same: Stay At Home (as much as possible). Because of these significant similarities, I will focus on the statewide order issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health as part of the Governor’s executive order, but this summary pretty much covers them all.
All of the orders start with some basic introductory stuff, like reciting the facts about the spread of COVID-19 and its health consequences, the history of other public health orders related to the virus, and the intent behind the order. The order itself is pretty straight-forward. All public and private gatherings of any size occurring outside of people’s homes are prohibited. People are also asked to remain at their homes as much as possible. When that’s not possible, try your best to maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others. The only times you should leave your home is for necessities, like grocery shopping, seeking medical care, getting outside for a bit, or working in or supporting a critical business. Basically, if you need something while staying holed up at home, you can still go out and buy it (including liquor and cannabis (for recreational, curbside delivery only)).
If you work in an essential business, such as those grocery stores, medical offices, and dispensaries, you can go to work. If you work in a job that supports those essential businesses, you can go to work. If you need to help someone or need someone to help you, that can still happen too. If you need gas to drive to the grocery store, you can stop at the gas station. If you work at a restaurant, you can still catch the bus, cab, rideshare, bike or scooter to get you there.
Truly, the exceptions to the general premise of staying at home are enormous! Most of the usual business that we do daily will continue unhampered by the Stay At Home order. Sure, you can’t go hang out at Starbucks with friends, but you can still get a venti dark roast to go and Facetime as you take a leisurely stroll through the park. Just remember to maintain the social distancing that we have all been practicing for days now anyway. Of course, also wash your hands (and don’t forget to sanitize your phone too)!
For now, the order expires just before midnight, April 11, 2020. That may change, and we’ll let you know if it does.
Many of the below resources are landing pages with up-to-date information. This is the first discussion feed post to provide an example of how this platform will work. See below for resources gathered by the Mile High Connects’ Denver Metro COVID-19 Housing Response Strategy community platform.
Doctor’s offices and hospitals aren’t the only ones running out of personal protective equipment. Members of the disability community who rely on home health also use PPE. Here are some ideas if you run out of supplies.
1) Use garbage bags with holes cut out for the head as a disposable, one use gown. It can be worn like a cape and thrown out at the end of the visit.
2) If you have a washing machine, purchase a few pairs of scrubs and request workers to immediately change upon arrival. Wash immediately when the visit is over.
3) Purchase or sew a homemade mask, cut up a t-shirt, or use a bandana. This won’t give adequate protection against COVID-19, but the CDC says bandanas are better than nothing to help reduce any spread of the virus through coughs/droplets from a caregiver to the client. If the caregiver has a cough they should not be working.
4) Substitute washable cleaning gloves for medical gloves. In addition to washing them inside and out, spray them with a solution of bleach and water (10-12 parts water to 1 part bleach).
5) Before wearing gloves, require aides to thoroughly scrub their hands (including finger tips, under nails, and the tops of hands and wrists) immediately upon entry, and have each worker wipe down all surfaces that were touched before hand washing. If no wipes are available, use hot water (with antibacterial dish soap) to wipe down surfaces. If they have to use towels, wash them after each use.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”– Audrey Hepburn
Despite our current situation, life has handed over an opportunity – more time. We still have the same 24-hours in the day, but we have more space in that time to try something new. You may already be exploring hobbies, books, music, or a myriad of other pursuits. Therefore, we’d like to share some other possibilities with you. And the best part – you can do them from home.
Here are a few things you can try. Some may be a better fit than others for you. So, try something, and then try something else. If you have ideas to add, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick links to the sections below:
Wednesdays at 3:00 pm & Thursdays at 7:00 pm
At CCDC, we are focusing on how to spread our messages to make a significant change and build power within our community. Each week we have two virtual meetings in which we use a messaging app called Outvote to connect people through relational organizing. All messaging, which comes directly from CCDC, is sent through OutVote. These messages include things like calling your legislators, signing on to an action letter, or going down to the Capitol to testify – any time we need to rally people to make a change. And, as the name suggests, it is used for everything related to voting!
We will go step by step and show you how to use the Outvote app on your phone or computer and even provide the messages (if you want them) for you to share with your friends, family, providers, or anyone in your contact list.
Right now, our focus is for us to engage in substantial change without leaving the comfort of our homes (or violating the Stay at Home Orders). Join the next Outvote messaging meeting by clicking on this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3955386232. See you then!
Call your member of Congress: Social Security Beneficiaries Will Receive Stimulus Payments Automatically; SSI-Only & VA-Only Beneficiaries Must File Tax Returns. The Treasury Department announced that millions of low-income seniors and people with disabilities who receive only Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans (VA) Disability Compensation or Veterans Pension benefits to file a tax return to collect their stimulus payment. Link to details
Report your advocacy efforts: If your organization is engaged in advocacy on protecting people with disabilities from COVID-19 or if you have been successful at securing action from your state government, we urge you to share details. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) will be maintaining a page keeping track of advocacy efforts and policy measures to protect the disability community for the duration of the crisis. Link to the reporting form.
Colorado just finalized the candidates for our June primary ballots, and the election is just over a month away! If you didn’t know an election was coming up, you can go to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website at govotecolorado.gov to update your voter registration.
On June 30, voters will vote in party primaries to choose the Democratic and Republican candidates for state office in November’s general election. This includes offices for the state legislature and Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat, and it’s our final statewide election before this November.
Colorado allows you to update your voter registration at any time before Election Day. You still have time to double-check your registration, but don’t procrastinate too long!
Updating your registration allows you to ensure that you get your mail ballot on time, you can change your voter registration to match your current address, and you can update your political party to ensure you get the primary ballot of your choice. If you want to be sure you’re ready for June, head to govotecolorado.gov!
CCDC’s goal is to create a groundswell of support for Medicaid aimed at statewide candidates so that one cannot win a statewide race in Colorado without supporting Medicaid. We want people to educate candidates for office, especially statewide office, about the importance of Medicaid.
“Our goal is that every statewide candidate for any office, of any party, understands the important role Medicaid plays both in the lives of people with disabilities and in Colorado’s health care system.” Read more about the #Vote4MedicaidProject
As we get closer to the presidential election, we will be ramping up our push to get everyone out to vote. Depending on what happens with the pandemic, this may look very different this year. But that might also mean that there will be more for you to do from home.
We need to ensure all of us are involved in the upcoming election. Our voices need to be heard, and you can help through the neighborhood, family, and social organizing. Learn from and work with Dawn Howard from CCDC about using the app OutVote to marshal your neighborhood forces to rally the disability vote. This is just one way to regain some of the power that was lost to the virus. Information is found on the Virtual Events page.
#operationASLStorytime is creating a virtual community for deaf kids. The link above will take you to a list of videos of sign language users reading children’s books. While books seem to be geared towards kids, CCDC has not reviewed all the books listed. Please ensure the appropriateness for your child.
Calls to the governor are needed to demand action for people without housing! Link to the details
Is also urging people to Tell Congress to Ensure Housing Stability During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
In an effort to keep the community informed about COVID-19-related changes and other topics, RTD will be hosting a series of telephone town halls in April and May in each of the 15 districts in its service area. Other topics to be discussed are safety efforts, status of ongoing projects and updates for the region. The forum will also answer questions from the listening audience. A Spanish language telephone town hall in will be hosted in May. Link to details.
The Mayor’s Youth Commission provides youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills and advise the director of the Office of Children’s Affairs on issues impacting youth living in the City and County of Denver. Learn more and apply.
This blog is written by Karen Bertelsen, a former television host in Canada. Her topics are all over the board and sprinkled liberally with sarcasm, snark, and a small amount of cussing. But her topics are fun, and you might find something you find appealing that you can do while under lock-down – something like How to Raise a Monarch Butterfly. It is pretty easy!
What’s there to do while stuck indoors? USA Today has compiled 100 suggestions to help make your time quarantined as enjoyable – and perhaps even as productive – as possible.
From Northeastern University, you can take a quick course that provides the necessary knowledge and skills you need to be safe and resilient. Spend an hour moving through the course’s simple steps. It may be the most important thing you do. Link to course
Wednesday at 7 pm and Saturday at 10 am, CCDC hosts an open discussion time. Both are captioned using CART, and Saturday includes ASL interpretation. Link to details
The Denver Division of Disability Rights encourages you to take reasonable steps to prepare yourself and your home for emergencies, while also remaining calm.
Although restaurants and bars have been directed to close to onsite seating for the next eight weeks, many restaurants remain open for delivery, carry-out, and drive-through services. Additionally, most essential businesses and services, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, health care facilities, banks, gas stations, and public transportation options remain open.
It is good practice to have adequate supplies to shelter in your home that can last between 3 -5 days. Suggestions include the following:
In addition to the previously shared guidance regarding preventative actions (wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, stay home when sick), we also recommend the following:
The Denver Department of Public Safety provides residents with disabilities an opportunity to submit information about yourself or other members of your household who have disabilities in order to help 911 respond appropriately during an emergency. Your information will remain confidential and will give officers advance warning about any pertinent information prior to responding during an emergency.
Please find additional information and the form for the registry (located at the bottom of the page) here: Emergency Services Communications for Special Needs Services
The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment will continuously monitor the COVID-19 situation and updates will be communicated through Denvergov.org and the Division of Disability Rights’ email listserv. To be added to the listserv, please send a request to DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.
Finally, if situations specific to the disability community arise that our division should be made aware of, please email DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.
You can also communicate any disability-related needs, discrimination, or other question to email@example.com.
In an effort to continue to provide you with an official update from the Governor’s office, below includes the latest steps we are taking to respond to the Coronavirus threat.
We currently have 10,878 cases, 508 deaths, and 2,123 hospitalizations out of 50,645 completed tests. We are thinking of these families and communities during these trying times.
This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily and can be found here.
The Governor continues to offer more guidance about the transition from the statewide Stay-At-Home order to the Safer-At-Home order.
The most important thing to understand is that this is not going to be back to normal. It’s not even going to be a major adjustment from where we are right now. It is going to be a period of more sustainable social distancing practices.
Here are some of the key points:
Here is a one-pager that may help with additional questions.
Here’s some specific guidance for the general public and for business owners; sector-specific information will be made available in the coming days.
Remember: non-essential workplaces should be operating at no more than 50% capacity and should allow employees to telework whenever possible. If during stay at home they were able to successfully telecommute 100% of their employees- keep doing that!
Here are some best practices you should be implementing to protect your workplaces, your employees, your customers, and the public at large.
Coloradans did a good job staying at home as a state and as a result, according to our modeling, we no longer need a state-wide stay-at-home order. But each community is in a different situation with regard to COVID-19.
Many local municipalities, especially those with large populations or in areas where there are hotspots, may continue to have more restrictive rules in place. Others may have very few or even zero cases of COVID-19.
Local and County governments have three options:
Here’s a timeline of implementation over the coming days:
Finally, Gov. Polis provided a critical update on the state’s testing capacity. Currently, the state is able to successfully test and isolate 33% of the symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the state within 48 hours. Our plan is to increase that by 5 percentage points each week, which is a reasonable goal. In order to meet the demand for testing supplies, the state has been working around the clock to secure additional testing capability and supplies despite challenges within the supply chain.
Here’s an update on our work:
At the end of the day, Colorado needs to employ an all-of-the-above strategy to defeat the virus. The main components are:
We greatly appreciate your helping to share information during this crisis. We will continue to send these regular updates. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or needs from our office. My cell phone is 210-385-7556. Thank you for doing your part. We’re all in this together!
A partir del día de ayer, han existido 10,878 casos, han fallecido 508 personas y se han hospitalizado a 2,123 personas de 50,645 pruebas de detección realizadas. Tenemos a estas familias y comunidades en nuestros pensamientos durante estos tiempos difíciles.
La información de estos datos se divide en varias categorías, se actualiza diariamente y pueden ser revisada aquí.
El Gobernador continúa ofreciendo orientación adicional acerca de la transición de la orden estatal de Permanecer-en-Casa comparado con Más-Seguro-en-Casa.
Lo más importante es comprender que no volveremos a la normalidad inmediatamente. Ni siquiera representa un ajuste significativo desde nuestra situación actual. Este es un período de prácticas de distanciamiento social sostenibles. Estos son algunos de los puntos clave:
Esta es una guía específica para el público en general y para los dueños de negocios; La información específica del sector estará disponible en los próximos días.
Recuerde: los lugares de trabajo no esenciales deben seguir operando a menos del 50% de su capacidad y deben permitir a los empleados trabajar a distancia siempre que sea posible. Si durante la estadía en casa los empleados pudieron trabajar desde casa con éxito al 100%, ¡sigan haciendo eso! Estas son algunas de las mejores prácticas que debe implementar para proteger sus lugares de trabajo, sus empleados, sus clientes y al público en general.
Los residentes de Colorado hicieron un buen trabajo al quedarse en casa, como resultado, de acuerdo a nuestro modelo, ya no necesitamos una orden de Permanecer en Casa en todo el estado. Pero cada comunidad se encuentra en una situación diferente con respecto a COVID-19.
Varios municipios locales, especialmente aquellos con grandes poblaciones o en áreas donde existen puntos críticos, pueden seguir teniendo reglas más restrictivas. Otros pueden tener muy pocos o incluso cero casos de COVID-19.
Los gobiernos locales y del condado tienen tres opciones:
Este es un calendario de implementación en los próximos días:
Finalmente, el gobernador Polis proporcionó una actualización importante sobre la capacidad de aplicación de pruebas del estado. Actualmente, el estado puede aplicar pruebas y aislar con éxito el 33% de los casos sintomáticos de COVID-19 en el estado, en 48 horas. Nuestro plan es aumentar un 5 por ciento cada semana, lo cual es un objetivo razonable. Con el fin de satisfacer la demanda de suministros de pruebas, el estado ha estado trabajando las 24 horas para garantizar la capacidad y los suministros de prueba adicionales a pesar de los desafíos dentro de la cadena de suministro.
Esta es una actualización de nuestro trabajo:
Al final del día, Colorado necesita emplear una estrategia completa para derrotar al virus. Los componentes principales son:
Apreciamos de sobremanera que compartan esta información durante esta crisis. Continuaremos enviando actualizaciones periódicamente. Como siempre, no duden en comunicarse conmigo si tienen alguna pregunta o necesidad. Mi teléfono celular es 210-385-7556. ¡Estamos todos juntos en esto!
Under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), all messages sent by or to me on this state-owned e-mail account may be subject to public disclosure.
Under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), all messages sent by or to me on this state-owned e-mail account may be subject to public disclosure.
Several stores are making sure those at the highest risk for the Coronavirus have a chance to get the essentials they need to stay quarantined. They have dedicated time frames seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable populations can shop to minimize their risk.
Below is a partial list of stores offering modified hours (subject to change). If your local store isn’t listed, or you aren’t sure if your’s is participating, contact them directly to ask about this option.
NOTE: There have been reports of incorrect charges for individuals ordering online for pick-up or delivery. Items that are out of stock may accidentally be charged to the customer. We suggest you review your receipt carefully and contact the store or your bank in cases of error.
Stores are reserving the first hour of each day for senior citizens and “those most vulnerable to this virus,” CEO Bruce Thorn said in an email to shoppers. Shop and find your location
Dollar General has dedicated the first hour of each business day to senior shopping. Click here for locations and store hours.
King Soopers will reserve 7a – 8a on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for senior customers. Click here for locations and store hours.
Safeway is going to reserve store hours for seniors/at-risk shoppers on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7am-9 am. Click here for store locations and hours.
Target stores nationwide will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores for seniors and other vulnerable guests. Click here for store locations and hours.
Beginning March 24 Walmart locations will open for one hour on Tuesday mornings (6 a.m. for most locations) for seniors only. The pharmacy and vision center will also be open for that hour. Walmart Online Shopping
Starting on Wednesday, March 18, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will service customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the general public, under the new adjusted hours posted on the store’s web page. (example: if a store’s new hours are 9 am-8 pm, customers who are 60+ can shop starting at 8 am). Click here for locations and hours.
Disability Scoop The Premier Source for Developmental Disability News by Michelle Diament | March 18, 2020
The U.S. Department of Education is giving schools more information about administering special education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As schools across the nation shutter in response to coronavirus, federal officials are giving educators additional insight on how to handle the needs of students with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a webinar and fact sheet this week for education leaders aimed at ensuring that students’ civil rights are upheld while schools are closed due to COVID-19.
The webinar reminds school officials that distance learning must be accessible unless “equally effective alternate access is provided.”
Online learning tools should be compatible with any assistive technology that students use and schools must regularly test their online offerings for accessibility, the Education Department said.
“OCR’s accessibility webinar is intended to remind school leaders at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels of their legal obligations to ensure that all students, including students with disabilities, can access online and virtual learning programs,” said Kenneth L. Marcus, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “Students with disabilities must have access to educational technology utilized by schools, and OCR will continue to work to ensure that no student is excluded from utilizing these important tools.”
If a student with a disability is absent from school for an extended period because of coronavirus, but the school remains open, the student has a right to continue to receive a free appropriate public education, or FAPE, the Education Department’s fact sheet states. But if schools close and no educational services are being provided, then the school does not have to serve students with disabilities, the agency said.
In addition, the fact sheet explains that individualized education program teams are not required to conduct in-person meetings while schools are closed. And, any evaluation of a student with a disability that must be done face to face should be postponed until the school reopens.
Evaluations that do not need to be done in person may proceed so long as the child’s parent or guardian consents, the Education Department indicated.
At least 74,000 schools serving 38.8 million students across the country have announced plans to close because of coronavirus, according to Education Week.
The latest information from the Education Department expands on guidance issued last week on how to address the needs of students with disabilities during the pandemic.
Advocates with the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, which represents special education attorneys, have criticized the Education Department’s approach, arguing that the right to FAPE under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act remains intact even when schools close.
There is more out there than just facts and statistics. We have been finding crucial information, great articles, helpful suggestions (like how to keep your six-year-old engaged), inspirational writing, and ways to calm your fears. This page has all of that and more. Check out what is found on these pages. If you have something you saw or maybe even wrote and would like it considered, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of articles on this page. Click ⇓ to go directly to that article.
CCDC’s Civil Rights Legal Program has numerous and growing concerns regarding discrimination against people with disabilities as a direct result of decision-making by both private and public entities occurring during the pandemic. Continue reading about your options if you feel you have been discriminated against due to disability.
Have you experienced discrimination based on disability when attempting to donate plasma to a CSL Plasma Center in Colorado? For example, were you denied the opportunity to donate plasma and receive payment for doing so for a disability-related reason? If so, our Civil Rights Legal Program needs to hear from you as soon as possible. This is a 3 part series:
There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census from the comfort of your own home – online, by phone, or by returning the paper questionnaire.
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80; people who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes; older people with chronic medical conditions are at the highest risk.
Caregivers of people with disabilities, paid or unpaid, are exempt from the stay-at-home order. For Medicaid CDASS clients, the state is working on a letter we can give to our attendants. Once available, we will share it here. Workers should continue to provide services to clients as long as they are healthy and using proper precautions such as handwashing. How to Improvise PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an Emergency
As schools across the nation shutter in response to coronavirus, federal officials are giving educators additional insight on how to handle the needs of students with disabilities.
The Denver Division of Disability Rights encourages you to take reasonable steps to prepare yourself and your home for emergencies, while also remaining calm. Read more for supply recommendations, emergency communication options, and more.
Several stores have dedicated time frames seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable populations to shop and therefore minimize their risk.
Doctor’s offices and hospitals aren’t the only ones running out of personal protective equipment. Members of the disability community who rely on home health also use PPE. Here are some ideas if you run out of supplies. (Español)
On April 10, 2020, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 034, suspending two specific rights of individuals at inpatient mental health units and institutes,* but a close reading of the Governor’s Order demonstrates that the suspension of these rights is not limitless.
While it is important for facilities to follow the Governor’s Executive Order to protect the health and safety of individuals in the facility as well as the community at large, patient’s rights overall have not been suspended by this Order. Disability Law Colorado emphasizes the limited scope of the rights suspended by the Governor’s Executive Order and encourages the respondent’s counsel to continue to advocate for their client’s rights that remain intact. If the respondent’s counsel or their clients would like to consult with Disability Law Colorado about these or other patient’s rights issues, please feel free to contact us at 303.722.0300. Thank you for your continued advocacy for your clients. Be well!
Apr. 19, 2020 – Disability advocates file a federal complaint against some states over rationing treatment, Alicia Acuna reports. Please note that the Colorado Medical Rationing plan also prohibits discrimination based on race, immigration status, language, criminal justice status, income, ability to pay, etc. Our order prohibits ALL discrimination.
Pandemic brings added worry for some of the world’s most vulnerable. CCDC’s own Dr. Kimberly Jackson was interviewed as a part of Tuesday, 4/21st episode of The Stream, An Al Jazeera independent global news network.
NEWS PROVIDED BY Global Down Syndrome Foundation: 140 Organizations Help Ensure People with Disabilities Will Receive Equitable Treatment under Colorado’s Newly Published “Critical Care Triage Guidance for Crisis Standards of Care”
To ensure better outcomes for our community during this unprecedented time, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition is proactive, compassionate, and conscious in our response to COVID-19.
Pandemics are potent phenomena. One moment, life proceeds per usual routines, and the next, we find ourselves scrambling over toilet paper. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted our lives in every way, and preventing transmission, while far from assured, appears to be straightforward. An equally daunting challenge, however, is about how we are going to interact with one another as this crisis unfolds. Read more
As millions of children are displaced from their schools due to the coronavirus, a sub-crisis has risen for American parents: What will the kids do all day? The widespread school closures have sent a ripple effect into parent communities as many scramble to find ways to transition kids into at-home life smoothly. It’s one thing to entertain them all day on the weekends. It’s another when you have seven days a week to fill for an indefinite period of time.
This is an excellent article about what and how to buy so you have enough without making it hard for the next person to get what he or she needs.
“We have a preemptive opportunity to save lives through the actions we take right now that we will not have in a few weeks. It is a public health imperative. It is also our responsibility as a community to act while we still have a choice, and while our actions can have the greatest impact.” From an article written by Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, the executive director of Ariadne Labs in Boston, MA.
“Over the past few days, I’ve looked through some old books that present accounts of living through experiences that are somewhat comparable to what we’re all going through now. What becomes apparent in stories —as well as in our own lived experience —is that in the context of a pandemic, our survival and wellbeing call for a very different kind of heroism .” Continue Reading