Advocating for Nebraskans with disabilities during COVID-19
Disability Rights Nebraska realizes some of our clients are the most at risk during the current pandemic. We recognize that people with disabilities, especially those living in congregate settings, are more vulnerable to contagion as well as at higher risk of harm due to staffing problems and mandatory isolation. We have already taken several steps to secure the rights of Nebraskans with disabilities during this crisis. So far, we have:
- • requested the Governor create statewide standards of healthcare to address discrimination and rationing of care issues.
- • created a survey to allow individuals to report on how facilities are responding to COVID19.
- • collaborated with a broad coalition of officials and organizations to track developments and advocate for policies
- • signed onto a joint call for the Nebraska Supreme Court to temporarily halt residential evictions. Governor Ricketts has taken steps to do so.
- • signed onto two letters to protect youth residing in juvenile and correctional facilities - including commitments to the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney.
Read Disability Rights Nebraska's full briefing on COVID-19 for information on the steps that we are taking to protect the disability community during this pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Disability Rights Nebraska realizes that some of our clients are the most at risk. We recognize that people with disabilities, especially those living in congregate settings, are more vulnerable to contagion as well as at higher risk of harm due to staffing problems and mandatory isolation. Our public briefing outlines the actions Disability Rights Nebraska is taking to address issues that the disability community may encounter during this pandemic.
An influx of COVID-19 patients is testing our health care system and its ability to respond to the needs of the public, particularly the needs of people with disabilities. Now as much as ever, it is essential that our state ensures life-saving care is not illegally withheld from citizens with disabilities. On March 27, 2020, Disability Rights Nebraska expressed our concerns of care rationing and its impact on Nebraskans with disabilities in a letter to Governor Ricketts and other state officials.
For the safety of our staff, their families and the community we serve, we are closing our Lincoln and Scottsbluff offices from Monday, March 23, 2020 through Monday, April 6, 2020. Staff will work remotely to continue to serve the disability community during this COVID-19 crisis.
Our CEO, Dr. Eric Evans called upon the state to make sure all COVID-19 response plans took into consideration the needs of Nebraskans with disabilities. Further, Eric's letter to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services itemizes specific concerns for how the state will protect those living in group homes, jails, prisons, and other facilities.