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Disability during
a pandemic

Covid-19 has shown us new ways to address old problems - from remote accessibility to critical shortages of home care workers.

Will we listen to these lessons? 

Watch the film

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Or watch the short stories below



Employees with disabilities have been asking for remote work options forever, and the pandemic proved it could be done.


Students with disabilities were cut off from services during the pandemic.


HCBS Waitlist were already too long before pandemic, but even if you had access to services, the pandemic made the shortage of home care workers even more severe.


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Issues from across the U.S.

The covid impacts project is a collaboration between the Disability Law Center of Alaska, the Arizona Center for Disability Law, and Disability Rights Florida. Together, we profiled stories from these very different places that highlight many of the issues that the Covid-19 pandemic brought to light.

Before the pandemic, people with disabilities found that their employers were reluctant to work with then on job accommodations like hybrid and remote work.  Schools too often denied services to students with IEPs. Families waited for years on waitlists for home and community based services, which help people stay in their homes instead of institutions. And even those who got off the waitlist struggled to find home care workers they could trust.

Then the pandemic hit. We saw long sought accommodations become the norm, as large segments of the population worked or attended school from home. But we also saw the home care worker crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. And the deadly spread of the virus through nursing homes and other facilities became a powerful reminder of the need for supports to allow people with disabilities to live at home where they choose.

What do we need now?

  • Employers to continue support for remote, hybrid, and flexible schedules for workers.

  • Schools to honor IEP requirements and remain flexible and creative in meeting them.

  • Major investments in home and community based services, and the caregiver workforce, so that people can move out of facilities or never have to live there in the first place.

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JJ Holmes


"The thought of living in an institution keeps me up at night. But it's becoming more likely because I don't know when I'll get off the waitlist."

JJ Rico


"We've shown it can be done, so I do not think they can now sit here and deny that we can't provide learning in a remote way or in a hybrid way."

Maggie Winston


"I hate the word special attached to anything having to do with accommodation. It's not special privilege. It's just me being able to do the same job that anybody else can, but in a different way."

Annette Diaz


" I have to be able to trust a person that comes into the home. It's just impossible to find home care workers."

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