Covid-19 Brings an Overdue Understanding of the Social Isolation Experienced by Many Americans with Disabilities
Around the world, governments are placing their citizens into various forms of lockdown as the COVID-19 virus has taken an increasingly tight hold on the global population.
Suddenly, and for the first time in a very long time, huge populations are coming face to face with a feeling of exclusion from normal life and a sense of isolation, as individuals with the virus, and those in their households, are quarantined in homes and hospitals.
But for many people, this sense of isolation and detachment from “normal” life isn’t a temporary phase; they aren’t waiting out the lockdown for normality to resume. For a large percentage of the population, including the elderly and many of the 1.3 billion people living with a disability worldwide, this daily experience of isolation and exclusion is unfortunately the norm.
Adhering to social distancing and quarantine bubbles means the number of people we see in person has dramatically diminished: suddenly, everyone’s world is a much smaller place.
For most Americans with disabilities, this “new normal” is not so new. Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed 30 years ago, people with physical disabilities are still frequently stuck at home, as communities lack accessible transportation for disabled individuals and workplaces are often unwilling to make individual accommodations. Even a vast number of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues are inaccessible to wheelchair users. Gatherings with family and friends for a fun night out are fraught with unforeseen barriers. READ MORE
What can you do for your family member, friend or neighbor – let’s take a closer look at a few activities adults with disabilities can do from home: