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New pandemic strategy focuses on people with disabilities

While President Joe Biden introduced a new approach to address the COVID-19 crisis, he also placed the spotlight on the virus’ impact on people with disabilities. The new plan was followed by an array of executive orders to address the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic. One of the most notable changes included diminishing the coronavirus’ overwhelming impact on the disability community.

The White House said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide focused guidance on COVID-19 for people with disabilities. The administration also affirmed to provide greater assistance to intermediate care facilities for people with disabilities and increased support for those receiving home and community-based services.

Disability advocates have long sought data on how COVID-19 is affecting people with disabilities – this is now part of the new approach by the administration. In the next few weeks the Biden team will receive technical guidance from the US Department of Education and the CDC on how to reopen schools - including how to better serve students with disabilities. This includes new models to get vaccines to high-risk individuals, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as review concerns (with the CDC’s assistance) about vaccine guidelines.

You can read the full White House plan here.

Sources: CDC, Disability Scoop, The White House

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