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When COVID-19 first arrived in the U.S., Jodee Pineau-Chaisson was working as the director of social services for a nursing home in western Massachusetts. By the middle of April, residents at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst were getting sick. In early May, Pineau-Chaisson was tapped for a particular duty: "I was asked to go onto the COVID-19 units to do FaceTime calls so they could say goodbye to their family members," she recalls. "I was very scared." She was worried about contracting the virus but also felt like she owed it to her residents
The towns Commission for the Disabled foresees making the town fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) a years-long process but the town is chipping away at it year by year. We are required to be compliant today, so we do our best to make sure we are meeting the needs of all of our residents, visitors and staff. That is likely to be a years-long process, ADA coordinator Tony Phillips said. There will be a long checklist, some little things, some big things that need to be addressed, but generally speaking, the ADA requires our town programs to be accessible
Current Legal Actions
A State Supreme Court Judge ruled this week that a lawsuit filed against the MTA on behalf of a coalition of accessibility rights advocates does, in fact, represent a class of more than 500,000 people who claim they’ve been excluded from the subway system because of a lack of accessibility. The 2017 lawsuit claims that because only 20% of the subway system has elevators, the MTA is in violation of the Americans with Disability Act and the New York City Human Rights Law.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title III) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations, requiring that individuals with a disability be offered the full and equal enjoyment . . . of any place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. ß 12182(a). As we previously discussed, the 30-year-old statute does not directly address whether places of public accommodation include websites, mobile applications, and other emerging web-based applications and technologies and, therefore, does not provide a standard for ensuring accessibility for web-based accommodations.
The Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center recently launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Dashboard to decipher how state policies have not prioritized the needs of people with disabilities in vaccination plans. The website, created with the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, interprets public information so that the disability community can understand the varying qualification rules and application processes.
COVID-19 VACCINE WEBSITES VIOLATE DISABILITY LAWS, CREATE INEQUITY FOR THE BLIND
WHAT MIAMI’S COVID-19 DASHBOARD GETS RIGHT AND WRONG
THE COVID VACCINE SYSTEM IS UNFAIR TO THOSE WHO NEED THE SHOTS MOST. THIS WAS PREDICTABLE
‘IT’S REALLY TOUGH’: DISABILITY ADVOCATES FRUSTRATED OVER VACCINE ACCESS
Last spring, national scientific organizations began holding conferences online in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the trend has continued into 2021. For example, the American Physical Society annual meeting was the first major physics conference to be virtual last year, and will still be held in cyberspace this coming April. In hindsight, such changes were inevitable. The uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. made attending large public gatherings far too risky. And who knows when the pandemic will end?…