Advocates: Michiganders with disabilities face coronavirus discrimination

By Paul Egan: For More Info, Go Here…

Michigan residents with disabilities are at high risk for the coronavirus due to their reliance on others for assistance. But they say they are being ignored or discriminated against in emergency government policies enacted to address the pandemic.

In recent days:

  • A coalition of disability rights groups wrote to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, saying current policies will leave Michigan residents who have disabilities without access to ventilators or other life-sustaining medical treatment if medical rationing becomes necessary during the pandemic.
  • Blind residents sued Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Saturday, saying that as the state encourages vote by mail for upcoming elections, it is failing to provide blind people with ballots they can read and mark with their preferred candidates, thereby violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The Friday letter to Whitmer and Nessel — signed by Michigan Protection & Advocacy Services, Inc. and 18 other groups and individuals who advocate for people with disabilities — said that current policies adopted by the state would discriminate against residents with “a severe underlying disease” in the event that rationing of access to ventilators was enacted in overloaded hospitals.

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