As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a major impact on our communities,Indiana Disability Rights (IDR) is still here to help. We continue to work hard to protect and promote the rights of individuals with disabilities through empowerment and advocacy. Though our physical office is closed to the public, we continue to provide information and referral services, open new cases and work on current cases, provide self-advocacy resources on our website and social media, and are utilizing telephone, video conferencing, and other technology in order to offer as many of our other services as possible.
IDR is actively addressing and responding to the new issues that emerge each day. COVID-19 related issues and works currently include:
- Medical rationing policies and guidance to ensure they are non-discriminatory and do not have a disparate impact on people with disabilities (April 16, 2020 – IDR Sign-on Letter to HHS re Crisis Standards of Care).
- Ensure neither health care systems nor individual hospitals utilize universal or non-consensual do-not-resuscitate orders.
- Exploring accommodations and exceptions to hospital and health facility “no visitor” policies for families of people with disabilities (April 14, 2020 - IDR Letter to IU Health and April 21, 2020 – IU Health Response Letter).
- Provision of essential educational services to students with disabilities through remote learning and other means by school districts across the state (April 8, 2020 - IDR FAQ on Educational Services, Updated April 16, 2020).
- Appropriate accommodations to ensure Hoosiers with disabilities have a full and equal opportunity to vote privately and independently in the rescheduled primary election (April 20, 2020 - IDR Letter to Indiana Election Commission and Primary Voting During COVID-19).
- Implementation of the state’s 1135 waiver for Medicaid services, Appendix K (Emergency Preparedness and Response) for Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid Waivers, and other state benefit amendments.
- Ensure communications with the public by the Governor and all other public officials about this serious disease outbreak are fully accessible to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. (March 24, 2020 - IDR Letter to Governor’s Office)
- Appropriate policy and planning at facilities that serve people with disabilities to protect and safeguard from COVID-19 outbreak, including continued appropriate staffing and services at these facilities to prevent abuse and neglect. This includes virtual monitoring being conducted by Indiana Disability Rights with administrators and residents at the state-operated facilities, private secure facilities, long-term care facilities (nursing homes), and assisted living facilities, among others, and contacts to state prisons and jails to ensure appropriate planning and procedures have occurred.
If you have encountered problems in any of the areas described above, or with other disability rights issues, please contact us:
By phone: 800-622-4845
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are trusted websites that provide regluar updates and correct procedures to follow during COVID-19 preparation and prevention.
- Indiana Governor's Office
- Indiana State Department of Health
- Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
- Indiana Department of Education
- Indiana Department of Workforce Development
- Indiana Local Health Department Information
- Indiana School for the Deaf - COVID Community Center
- Indiana Legal Services - COVID Response and Resorces for Low-Income Hoosiers
- Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council (INSLIC) - COVID Resources
- Administration for Community Living
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- U.S. Department of Education
- U.S. Social Security Administration
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC - People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness
- CDC - Symptoms of COVID-19
- CDC - Testing for COVID-19
- CDC - Protecting Yourself and Your Family
- Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD)
- SPAN Parent Advocacy Network