Updates on Senate Bill, Crip Camp, Healthcare Rationing, and More


March 26, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

We have a lot of updates for you today so please read carefully.

To Start on a Positive Note: Yesterday was the Netflix launch of the film Crip Camp, a documentary about a camp in New York State during the 1970s that was a critical bonding opportunity for many young people with disabilities, who went on to become leaders in the disability movement. It’s an amazing film and if you have Netflix we urge you to watch this important story! We’re thrilled about this film.

Action Needed!: So, we need people to keep up the advocacy, using the Twitter hashtag #WhatWeNeed (check out the cool Twitter tool at www.disabilitydemands.org) and our email advocacy tool at this link, which has been updated to focus on the House at the moment. Please take action ASAP!

U.S. Senate Passes Stimulus Bill, U.S. House is Next: Last night, the U.S. Senate finally passed the CARES Act, the biggest stimulus package in U.S. history. The bill now moves for consideration by the U.S. House, and a vote is expected possibly tomorrow. The CARES Act contains major funding for many areas that affect people with disabilities, including healthcare and housing, but it does not include the funding for home and community based services that people have been fighting for. Advocates continue to review the bill to create summaries (it is over 800 pages long).

Pushing Back on Rationing: As the COVID-19 crisis continues and medical professionals face the prospect of limited staff and equipment, especially ventilators, disability advocates across the states are stepping up to ask policymakers to issue guidance for emergency triage to eliminate disability bias. The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund put out a brief that looks at the issue from a disability standpoint. Access Living is monitoring this issue closely in Illinois, as are many Illinois disability and health groups.

Disability Writers on COVID-19: The pandemic is also seeing new stories by writers with disabilities weighing in on different aspects of getting through the crisis. A few stories by disabled writers on COVID-19:

Again, thank you all for your ongoing hard work to advocate for all of us.