Coronavirus: Disabled demand measures they've been requesting for years, says 'we're not expendable'
The community said remote learning and working from home should have been allowed before the coronavirus outbreak
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally continues to be on the rise with over 169,000 infected and with over 6,500 confirmed deaths. However, as institutions and organizations continue to adopt measures to stop the spread and guarantee safety, one community is realizing that they could have had more rights prior to the outbreak.
Most organizations have closed their doors and switched to remote learning and working from home. While these measures have been lauded in the current crisis, many from the disability community are calling out the lack of these measures when requested by them, which led to many opportunities lost for those in the community.
A user tweeted, "A quick reminder to academics missing out on conferences due to coronavirus that this is what many contingents, parent, disabled, non-funded academics experience each year. In-person conferences can be beneficial but are consistently exclusionary and propagate academic inequality."
Another wrote, "As a disabled person it hurts to see all the adjustments that we’ve been denied suddenly be made available because non-disabled people might get sick. But we will remember, we see you & your ableism. So next time you deny us accommodations, we will say 'but during Coronavirus?'"
A user said, "Coronavirus seems to be showing that, for all its talk about lack of resources, capitalism had the capacity to accommodate disabled people requiring flexible working arrangements - it just didn’t want to."
An autism activist tweeted, "Please REALLY take in how EASILY amid the Coronavirus pandemic - places go back to single-use plastic - businesses switch in-person meetings to online - schools and universities switch to online lessons Yet these have always been „impossible“ accommodations for disabled people."
A visually impaired activist tweeted on her experience, "Working from home. I'm visually impaired & use a white cane, using inaccessible public transport every day is exhausting physically & mentally. Working from home means I can be productive, happy & safe. I've frequently been refused this reasonable adjustment."
The community is also calling out the way governments and media are treating them as expendable. One user wrote, "Trying to claim disabled people aren’t regularly and systemically devalued, disposed of and dehumanized is pretty tough given all the 'don’t worry, Real People won’t die, only Non-People like old and disabled people will, no worries' coronavirus threads."
Another tweeted, "Folks, when you say "The corona virus isn't a big deal, it only kills the disabled, elderly, chornically-ill, and immunocompromised," the implication is that those people are expendable. Please be more careful."