The disability community is fighting for our lives during a global pandemic. And Congress must recognize that whether it is people with disabilities, their family caregivers, or the direct support professional (DSP) workforce, We Are Essential.
Service providers are on the front line of this pandemic: some of the people with disabilities they serve have passed away from COVID-19, and others don’t have the supplies for staff to safely serve or quarantine individuals with disabilities. DSPs often support people with disabilities with very personal tasks that can’t be done from six feet away, yet the gear necessary to do these tasks safely is scarce. Because of the strain on the systems we know that some service providers will be forced to close, leaving families with nowhere to go.
This is an unprecedented crisis for the 1 in 5 Americans with a disability, their family members, and the network that supports independence and life in the community. We need action – at the local, state and federal level – that recognizes that the disability community is essential.