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In these uncertain times we are currently facing, there’s one thing for certain: no one is exempt from the effects of the coronavirus. Whether you’ve lost your job due to layoffs, are stuck in your home, separated from your dearest loved ones, fear for your health and sanity, or are experiencing symptoms of sickness, it’s quite clear that these days past, present, and to come will be riddled with added stress. We’ve had to adapt as a globe, as a human race, on a national scope, and within our local communities in order to conduct our daily affairs, continue relationships, and to ensure that every person is taken care of. We’ve all had to adapt in some way to continue with our lives. If there’s any group of people that truly understand what it means to adapt and to be adaptable, it’s us folks who are a part of the disabled community. From education to employment, to transportation, to entertainment, to forms of communication, you’ll be hard pressed to find another group of people that have had to be creative when it comes to fulfilling these needs. I’ve been extremely touched to see how the world, and our nation, has pulled together to make our collective existences stay connected despite our ordered distances from one another. For as much of me is touched and proud, the same amount of me is upset by the lack of access that society had put in place prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Where were all these useful and necessary accommodations and tools with school and employment and socializing when much of the disabled population has been asking for them for years and years only to be met with resistance? Personally when I’ve asked for some accommodations in the past I’ve either been told that it’s not possible or would take too many resources and time to fulfill. Then why is so much of society able to so quickly function and operate largely on a virtual basis these days? I’m not the first disabled person to feel like the needs of able bodied people are viewed as more important, and this pandemic has proven that to be true more than ever. My wish is that the way that business is conducted these days can be permanently instated as an option for whenever it may be that our affairs go back to normal. Universal access for all is the only way our society will ever truly achieve accessibility. For now, all we can do is try to remain patient, optimistic, and in good health. 

If you’d like to read more about one person’s feelings that echo my own, check out this poignant piece. Also, look into these resources that the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has compiled on the coronavirus. 

 

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