The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion issued a statement announcing the need to work more closely with the disability community as we navigate through the challenges of Covid-19.
We’ve got a big issue on our hands.
If COVID-19 wasn’t frightening enough, now guidelines are being written across the country that put people with disabilities at further risk.
You may have seen open letters already in your provinces about discriminatory triaging. Discriminatory triaging means a person with a disability can be denied lifesaving healthcare based on their disability.
These practices must be stopped immediately.
People with disabilities and Deaf people are at special risk – some are vulnerable to COVID-19, and all are vulnerable to discriminatory triaging. 63 Organizations representing and supporting people with disabilities, Deaf people, and their families, know that disability itself is already being used as an indicator in deciding who will gain access to needed health care, and who will not.
Many people with disabilities and Deaf people fear for their lives. These practices must be stopped immediately.
Last week, Minister Qualtrough's office asked for further clarifications on the Recommendations Relating to COVID and People with Disabilities. With a very short turn around time, a small group put together a supporting document to the recommendations, focusing on financial concerns. It was sent March 31, 2020.
If ever there was a time for the disability community to unite, it is now.
Covid-19 (coronavirus) has challenged the world and, in turn, made us especially vulnerable. Big decisions are being made outside of our control. Sometimes, people's actions are putting us at risk. There are real concerns that threaten us. Equally true, there are amazing people and organizations doing wonderful things to help.
Together, we can find strength.