Safeguard Against Disability Discrimination
Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities
This resource provides information for individuals with disabilities to ensure equal care and services during COVID-19.
Think Equitable Care- Take Action!
- Inform key medical personnel immediately that individuals with disabilities have equal rights to COVID-19 testing and treatment.
- Make equitable decisions to ensure that allocation of COVID-19 resources, supplies, and care are not based on inaccurate assumptions about life with a disability.
- Provide accommodations to make sure all individuals can access COVID-19 testing and treatment. This requirement includes accommodations for behavioral, intellectual, or physical disabilities that may impact someone’s ability to comply during testing and treatment.
Know the Best Practices-Take Action
- When communicating with individuals with disabilities:
- Talk directly to them.
- Ask permission before speaking with their caregivers, if possible.
- Ask the caregiver for assistance if you need help communicating with a patient.
- Use plain language to tell individuals and caregivers about COVID-19 test results and anticipated procedures.
- Keep in mind that you may have difficulty understanding the patient, however, in most cases they understand you.
- Make these accommodations:
- Allow a caregiver to go with a patient to ensure adequate support for decision-making and treatment.
- Provide ramps and rooms with enough access for a wheelchair.
- Provide qualified interpreter services for the deaf or hard of hearing.
- Use prompts, such as picture cues, for those with limited use of verbal communication.
- Provide the time needed for individuals to speak, respond, and understand.