Incapacity Rights Ohio (DRO) Advocates for Fast Inclusion of All Ohioans With Disabilities as State Develops Its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

As the leading not-for-profit company focuses on advocating the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio, Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) and its partners are calling on the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to follow up its recommendations to the Formulation to take into account the state’s COVID-19 vaccination schedule. While DRO and its partners are encouraged, Phase 1A of this plan includes those with intellectual disabilities and those with mental illness who live in group homes and the staff there, as well as patients and staff in mental hospitals, as well as residents and staff of care facilities and facilities for Assisted living and veterans’ homes as well as nursing staff in hospitals, this is not enough. A letter from the DRO leadership and its partners to ODH Director Stephanie McCloud recommended that the following should also be included in the plan:

  • Prioritize people with disabilities in all types of meeting environments.

  • Prioritize people with disabilities in all congregation environments, regardless of age.
  • Prioritizing people with disabilities in home and community-based services;
  • Prioritize people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, even if they don’t fit into any of the existing categories. and
  • Make sure that both information and information on how to administer the vaccine are available to people with disabilities.

DRO and its partners strongly support the revision of the Ohio preliminary draft plan to effectively address risks for people with disabilities living in any community and to include those people and employees who work in that community in Phase 1. Compliance with Public Health Guidelines Like social distancing, it is difficult or impossible in any type of community, not just in the facilities of the current Ohio plan. In addition, people of all ages are at risk in these gathering environments, so there should be no age restrictions. Prisons, prisons and detention centers should also be a high priority, as the incarcerated population disproportionately large numbers of people with disabilities, who are often at greater risk of complications or death from COVID-19.

People also rely on helpers or nurses at home and in the community, making it difficult or impossible to practice social distancing. It has been shown that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in general are at a much higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19 and should also be prioritized.

Finally, the state should commit to ensuring that the benefits and possible risks and side effects of vaccines are effectively and transparently communicated to people with disabilities so that they can make informed decisions. The letter from DRO and its partners can be read here.

DRO and its partners commend Ohio for its thoughtful approach to identifying critical populations by providing first aiders, high risk healthcare workers, people at significantly higher risk due to comorbid or underlying conditions, and older adults living in a community live or overcrowded, are among the earliest to receive the vaccine. We also applaud the state for recognizing in its preliminary draft plan that racial and ethnic minority populations are more likely to suffer from comorbidities and risk of infection. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our state, DRO and its partners are committed to working hand in hand with ODH to ensure that all Ohioans are vaccinated as safely and quickly as possible.

Disability Rights Ohio is the state, federally recognized protection, advocacy and customer care system for the state of Ohio. Disability Rights Ohio’s mission is to advocate for the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. Disability Rights Ohio provides legal assistance and protection to a wide range of people with disabilities.

Partners included in letter: Ohio Brain Injury Program, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Ohio Olmstead Task Force, Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio, Coalition for Community Living – Ohio, Society for Disability rights at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and Columbus Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers.

Share articles on social media or via email:

Comments are closed.