New Legal Guidance and Resources to Ensure — and Expand — Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Disabilities and Older Adults

From ACL: For Complete Post, Click Here…

As part of a shared commitment to President Biden’s National Strategy and Executive Order to ensure an equitable COVID-19 response, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have published several new resources to help states, vaccination providers, and others leading COVID-19 response activities improve access to vaccines for people with disabilities and older adults. These resources clarify legal requirements, illustrate some of the barriers to vaccine access faced by people with disabilities and older people, and provide strategies – and examples of how the aging and disability network can help employ them – to ensure accessibility.

The Office for Civil Rights released new guidance outlining legal standards under the federal civil rights laws prohibiting disability discrimination and providing concrete examples of the application of the legal standards in the context of COVID-19 vaccine programs and how to implement them. OCR also issued a fact sheet setting out specific steps that those involved in the planning and distribution of vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic may wish to consider to promote compliance with disability rights laws and provide access to vaccination programs for people with disabilities. Earlier COVID-19 guidance from OCR addressed civil rights protections prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and civil rights of persons with limited English proficiency.

Leave a Reply