ADAP is working to ensure that people with disabilities are being treated equitably and that their state and federal rights are enforced during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Advocates call on the state to provide COVID-19 hazard pay to direct service workers for seniors and persons with disabilities
A broad cross-coalition of advocates, including ADAP, AARP of Alabama, the Alabama Council for Behavioral Healthcare, and the Birmingham Black Nurses Association, have sent a letter to Governor Kay Ivey urging her to use funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to provide hazard or hero pay to direct service workers who have cared for vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities in their homes and in small residential settings during the pandemic. To learn more about ADAP’s other COVID-19 health care advocacy, click here.
- Advocates Call on the State to Accelerate Vaccination Plans for Medicaid Waiver Recipients
ADAP, Alabama Arise, and the Disabilities Leadership Coalition of Alabama have urged Governor Kay Ivey to accelerate planning for the vaccination of individuals served through home- and community-based Medicaid waivers.
These individuals qualify for nursing home care but receive their care at home from community providers through the state’s Medicaid waiver program. ADPH has acknowledged that these individuals belong in the 1a vaccination priority level, but they have not been granted access to vaccinations.
To learn more about this issue and ADAP’s other COVID-19 health care advocacy, click here.
- ADAP, Alabama Arise, and the Disability Leadership Coalition of Alabama have urged Governor Kay Ivey to accelerate planning for the vaccination of individuals served through home- and community-based Medicaid waivers.
These individuals qualify for nursing home care but receive their care at home from community providers through the state’s
Medicaid waiver program. ADPH has acknowledged that these individuals belong in the 1a vaccination priority level, but they have not been granted access to vaccinations.
- Vaccinating Medicaid Waiver Recipients
To read the letter sent to Governor Ivey regarding this matter, click here.
Prohibiting Discrimination in Accessing Life-Saving Ventilator COVID Treatment
ADAP is fighting to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to life-saving COVID-19 treatments. As the number of COVID- 19 cases increase, health care professionals predict that there will be a lack of acute care services and equipment, notably ventilators, to meet the increasing demand.
Alabama has developed new guidance protocols, called “Crisis Standards of Care,” for rationing acute medical care, meaning
guidelines to determine who will have access to life-saving treatment.
These protocols were adopted after ADAP filed a complaint in March 2020 with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The complaint challenged Alabama’s previous Crisis Standards of Care, which had placed the lives of disabled adults and children at serious risk, in violation of federal law, by ordering hospitals to “not offer mechanical ventilator support for patients” with “severe or profound mental retardation,” “moderate to severe dementia,” and “severe traumatic brain injury.”
- OCR took swift action on ADAP’s complaint, making clear to Alabama and states and hospitals across the country that excluding people with disabilities from access to life-saving treatment is illegal and intolerable. After our complaint was filed, the state immediately withdrew its discriminatory policy and worked with ADAP, our community partners, and the Center for Public Representation to adopt the new and vastly improved Crisis Standards of Care.
- Discriminatory No-Visitation Policies
ADAP is urging the Alabama Department of Public Health to add an exception to its March 19, 2020, State Health Order prohibiting visitation of all visitors and non-essential healthcare personnel to hospitals and other healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 emergency. We sent a letter to the State on April 23, 2020, requesting it to add a legally required exception for people with disabilities who may require a support person to stay with them during emergency room visits and hospitalizations in order to ensure equal access to medical care.
On April 28, 2020, the State Health Officer issued a New State Health Order to add an exception for “support for persons with
disabilities” to the State's no-visitor policy.
If you have a loved one in the hospital or a healthcare facility who needs you to assist them with communication, decision-making, etc., and are being denied the right to visit, please contact ADAP.
STATE HEALTH ORDER
How to get help in Alabama during the COVID-19 crisis
- Health, Housing, Safety Net, Other - by Alabama Arise