As we navigate responding to COVID-19, we cannot leave the disability community behind. The following pieces are part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19.

 

For Coronavirus resources for disabled Washingtonians, visit our resource page.

You may also be interested in Disability Rights Washington’s work:

 

Illustration of coronavirus as it appears through microscope.

Disabled People Are Not Simply Dispensable During a Pandemic

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. It’s hard to wash your hands to prevent the spread of coronavirus when you’re allergic to most bathroom hand soaps. I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), a condition … Continued
A screenshot of Tinu speaking to camera.

Disabled, Not Disposable: Tinu

Listen to disability activist Tinu Abayomi-Paul on what happens when we start valuing people based on whether they’re “productive members of society.”
An illustrated group of kids, one using a wheelchair, sitting around a table working on a robotics project together.

Call for Stories: Share your experiences to highlight the value of educational accommodations

In response to pandemic-related school closures, the U.S. Department of Education was considering waiving part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities. While they have since released a statement that this waiver will not happen, accessible virtual learning … Continued


Photo of hands covered in soap under a sink with running water.

Reminder: Non-Disabled People Aren’t the Only Ones Affected by COVID-19

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been staring at graphics that show how to wash your hands “properly.” I’m pretty sure my hands and wrists just don’t … Continued
Hand stopping germs from getting closer - a visual concept of immune defense

Disability Accommodations and Supports Can Help Everyone Prevent COVID-19

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, Infection Prevention Guidelines are important measures of minimizing the spread of infection. Disabled people are one group at higher risk of getting … Continued
An abstract watercolor of a person sitting atop a hill with a rainbow cloud of thoughts emanating from their mind.

Coping with Suicidal Ideation Among the Uncertainty of COVID-19

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. This post discusses suicide. If you or someone you know are in need of support, please reach out for support. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 En Español: 1-888-628-9454 For … Continued


virus drawing

Disability Rights Washington Files Complaint over COVID-19 Treatment Rationing Plan in Washington State

Our parent organization, Disability Rights Washington, has filed a complaint against Washington's plan to ration #COVID19 care and how it discriminates against disabled people. The #COVID19 rationing plan would give priority to treating people who are younger and healthier and leaves those who are older and sicker—people with disabilities—to die.
Hands typing on a laptop resting on a wooden surface.

Working and Studying at Home Shouldn’t Be Pandemic-Only Accommodations

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. As a disabled person with an autoimmune disorder, I of course find myself worried about being more susceptible to coronavirus. I’m concerned my recovery would be a lot more … Continued
The author resting her head on her mother's shoulder

What Can Experiences of Chemically Sensitive People Teach Us During Social Distancing?

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. Author Disclaimer: I do not identify as a disabled person. I am the daughter of one and chose the Q&A format to lift up the voices of a remarkable … Continued


Access Bus

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information, Response, and Planning for Washingtonians

This page will be updated as more information is made available. Last Updated: May 19, 2020   It’s important to take steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 and prevent further spread of the virus if you do become sick. Here is a list of other recommendations for staying safe, informed, and prepared.   Know Your Legal … Continued
Blurred photo of medical professionals in protective gear treating a patient.

Listen Up: Chronically Ill People Know What We’re Talking About When it Comes to COVID-19

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. It was summer 2014, four months after the accident that left me with chronic illness and pain. I’d lost a third of my body weight. I was so sick … Continued
The lower half of a person's face, covered in a surgical mask.

The Challenges of Being a Deaf Lip-Reader During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. I’ve relied on reading lips for as long as I can remember. Cochlear implants have made it significantly easier for me to comprehend what I’m hearing, allowing me to loosen up on that particular need. However, I … Continued


A range of multicolored hands (blue, green, orange, yellow, red) reaching out toward each other.

We Need More Than Social Distancing. We Need Social Safety Nets.

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. COVID-19 and the emergency responses from governments around the world are evidence we do not live in a society that works for everyone. While those of us at higher … Continued
A screenshot of Ariel speaking to camera through a video chat.

Disabled, Not Disposable: Ariel

“I've seen a lot that concerns me, both the message that we should just, you know, take one for the team basically, that's kind of horrifying." - Ariel Henley on how disabled people are feeling about Coronavirus.
An illustration of x-rays of different body parts, highlighting pain points in red.

Enduring Chronic Pain During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. My daughter’s voice woke me this morning. I open my eyes. I take a deep breath savoring the moment before the pain of the day began. My daughter is … Continued


A view of watching Netflix

For the Chronic Illness Community, Quarantine Life is Nothing New

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. As someone who takes comfort in a daily routine, my days don’t differ all that much. I wake up late, with no particular place to go, prepare a nutrient-dense, … Continued
Sign that says "Yes we're open, Drive Thru Only"

COVID19: Drive Thru Only Services Must Provide Access to People Who Cannot Drive

As a result of many businesses converting to drive-thru only, transit-dependent people, in particular members of the disability community who are blind and low-vision, aren’t able to access services.
Wooden letter tiles spelling out "you are enough" on a pink background.

In the Face of the Pandemic, A Reminder for Disabled People: You Are Enough

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19.  It has never been more evident that my nondisabled fellow Americans, maybe even the world, has a deep-seated hatred of disabled people and the chronically ill. Overreacting, you say? What else is it called when people casually … Continued


Photo of hands typing on an old black typewriter.

A Writer with Multiple Sclerosis Finds Unexpected Gratitude with an Antique Typewriter

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. “Not another typewriter!” When my husband J.P. held open the box delivered by U.P.S. to reveal his latest acquisition, I lost it. As a neat freak, nothing sends me into a tizzy faster than clutter. But since … Continued
Young POC Femme with black glasses.

Disabled, Not Disposable – ChrisTiana

The impacts of COVID-19 have magnified structural inequities deeply rooted in our society. ChrisTiana ObeySumner talks about the need for discussions around solutions to delve deeper and include the bigger picture.
White woman with pink hair

Disabled, Not Disposable – Eliza

"Profit shouldn't be part of the healthcare equation. It should be about making sure everybody has the care that they need." - Eliza Bates on the state of the healthcare system.


White man in newscap

Disabled, Not Disposable – Joe

Why should people care about disabled folks in a crisis? Joe Stramondo puts it simply: "The value of disabled lives is that they are of value to the disabled people that live them."
Computer keyboard with a big green key that says "accessibility" and has a small access symbol. There's a spotlight shining on the accessibility key.

How to Make Your Virtual Meetings and Events Accessible to the Disability Community

As meetings and events continue to take place in virtual spaces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, accessibility is too often an afterthought. Even event organizers and activists who normally work to make sure their in-person events are accessible seem to forget that virtual events need to be accessible for the disability community, too. … Continued
Box of Hydroxychloroquine Tablets

I Take Hydroxychloroquine For My Autoimmune Disease. President Trump and Dr. Oz Pushing It As a Cure for COVID-19 Puts My Health— and the Health of Millions Like Me — at Risk.

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. I take hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) for my autoimmune disease. Ever since President Trump and Dr. Oz promoted it as a miracle cure for COVID-19 — based on an unproven theory … Continued


A person grabs a door handle using a napkin

When Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Turned “Sane” – COVID-19 and Double Standards

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. I woke a March ago to the cruel, familiar feeling of unsubstantiated terror. Anxieties of tenuous relation folded in on one another until I felt I was carrying a cardboard box of feeling twice my size on … Continued
A wedding photo of the author and her husband.

Deaf People Need Access to Information During Emergencies, Too

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. 70 days. That was when the last time I saw my Italian husband, on the day he departed for Italy from Las Vegas, Nevada, where my family lives. I … Continued
Two people standing on chalkboard with the word social distancing in between.

I’m Autistic. Here’s Why I Think Social Distancing Should Be Respected, Regardless of COVID-19

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. I am an autistic woman. I am also touch-averse. I have been touch-averse for as long as I can remember. I have sensory-processing disorder, which often goes along with autism. It’s hard to describe to people who … Continued


A blurred photo of an institution corridor.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Makes it Clear: It’s Time to Permanently Close Institutions

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. Content note: institutionalization I was born into what is called the “ADA Generation.” For my entire life, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been the law of the land, protecting the rights of people with disabilities. … Continued
A photo taken from above of a kid doing crafts, making rainbows and drawing trucks.

How Can Parents and Kids with Disabilities Cope During COVID-19?

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19.  In the age before the internet when many Autistic girls were misdiagnosed, my mother used to say, “Amy is like any other child, only more so.” As I have grown up, become a school psychologist, and also … Continued
A photo of a stethoscope on a table next to building blocks with medical icons like a stethoscope and hospital bed to indicate building blocks of healthcare.

We Cannot Neglect the Health Needs of Chronically Ill and Disabled People During the Pandemic

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. Please note this post only uses first names and some names have been changed to protect privacy. As hospitals and doctor’s offices around the world go into lockdown to … Continued


A photo of a young Black child sitting at a desk using a laptop.

My Educational Experiences with Attention Deficit Disorder and Why Accommodations are So Crucial

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. The global pandemic has affected each of us in ways no one could have imagined. It has exposed the structural failures of many of the systems we took for granted before the world changed at the beginning … Continued
A BIPOC-inclusive pride flag with a map of the world on top of it.

How LGBTQ+ Disabled People Are Celebrating Virtual Pride

Content note: includes mentions of COVID-19 and police brutality toward Black people Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person Pride events have been postponed or turned virtual. And while I do miss the experience of dressing in an all-rainbow outfit and celebrating in person with my friends—especially because a few of my close friends have come … Continued
Woman in a grocery store holding a basket in one hand and a product in the other hand, reading its label.

The FDA’s Relaxed Food Labeling Guidelines in Response to the Pandemic are Dangerous

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. If I hadn’t been born in the 20th century, I wouldn’t have survived infancy. Yet here we are, after decades of work to be sure people with chronic illnesses are able to keep ourselves safe, in the … Continued


An overhead view of a crowd gathered for a protest

Finding and Reclaiming Who I Am: a Biracial Black Transgender Man with Multiple Disabilities

Content note: includes discussion of COVID-19, police brutality toward Black people, murder of unarmed Black people, transphobia As I was moving my arms back and forth next to my wife in our very first protest, chanting Black Lives Matter, two beautiful strong brown-skinned African Americans in the midst of COVID-19 and racism pandemics, I was … Continued
A Black woman with closed eyes fades into a swirl of painted rainbow colors

How Can Black People Protect Their Mental Health Right Now?

Content note: includes discussion of COVID-19, police brutality toward Black people, murder of unarmed Black people The last few weeks have put Black people through the wringer. The footage of George Floyd’s death has sparked the largest protest in history with all fifty states and 18 different countries placing a giant spotlight on the effects … Continued
Illustration of a pink megaphone with yellow lightning shaped soundwaves coming out of it, on a teal background.

Reflecting on ADA 30 While Reckoning with COVID-19 and Racism

Content note: includes mentions of COVID-19 and police brutality toward Black people 2020 brought us the COVID-19 pandemic and shed a stark light on the pandemic of racism. The impact of both these pandemics continues to grow and serve as reminders of centuries of slavery, oppression, violence, and discrimination. This year also marks the 30th … Continued


Mobile app icons of assorted telehealth providers from the App Store are seen on a smartphone.

As a Disabled Person, Expanded Access to Telehealth is One Result of the Pandemic That I Hope Will Continue

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. For as awful a toll as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted on our medical system, telehealth has been a bright spot for many in a sea of darkness and tragedy. It used to be that insurance companies … Continued
Homemade protective masks in floral patterns and pieces of cloth on a gray background.

What Do You Do When You Can’t Wear A Mask?

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19. This post is not intended as medical advice. While much of the rest of the world is making its way back outside, nothing has really changed for me. It’s as if it’s still February, when the novel … Continued
An illustration of a person wearing a headset and typing on a laptop. The person is transparent and has blue connecting lines and dots inside them, indicating being online.

Navigating Virtual Employment Services During the Pandemic

Navigating the dynamics of difference within the world of employment as a person with multiple disabilities has been a struggle since the moment I prepared to enter it at the age of 16 in 2001. I didn’t become aware of accommodations, self-advocacy skills, or my rights regarding employment as an individual with a disability until … Continued


A white wall is completely covered in 8” x 10” abstract charcoal drawings. Some of the imagery includes a microscopic view of COVID-19, a pile of hoarded toilet paper, a doctor, a person using forearm crutches, two people hugging, along with various handwritten notes.

The Dearest Friends Project: A Global Art Collaboration Centering Disability During COVID-19

The following post is part of our series on perspectives from disabled and chronically ill people regarding COVID-19.  My Dearest Friends, We mustn’t let this be forgotten- the time the world gained Perspective on a small portion of our struggles. We must make sure that this moment goes down in history so that we can … Continued