Nationwide, Disability Organizations Send Unified Letter to Vice President Pence and White House COVID-19 Task Force

March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020

Nationwide, Disability Organizations Send Unified Letter to
Vice President Pence and White House COVID-19 Task Force 

More than 70 leading organizations representing the interests of persons with disabilities sent the disability community’s National Disability Rights Call To Action today to Vice President Mike Pence asking him to make sure that the White House and relevant agencies involved in the COVID-19 effort expressly address the specific COVID-19 issues faced by persons with disabilities in all phases of COVID-19 planning and response. The National Disability Rights Call To Action supported by more than sixty organizations, lists six major areas that a COVID-19 strategy should address.

According to the letter: “We appreciate the work of the agencies participating in the efforts to contain COVID-19 and to deal with its effects. Yet, we have neither seen nor heard any discussion of a strategy to deal with anticipated and unexpected challenges encountered by persons with disabilities throughout this public health emergency.”

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published “Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities: National Standards for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Public Health.” This document specifically addresses continuity of operations and states, “Particular attention should be placed on accessibility of health and human services for at-risk individuals with access and functional needs who may be disproportionately impacted by a public health incident.”

We have seen nothing in the Administration’s strategy for COVID-19 indicating that continuity of services for people with disabilities is being addressed.

For further information, please contact:


Germán Parodi & Shaylin Sluzalis
Co-Executive Directors
215.971.0660 & 570.777.0268

Marcie Roth                                                              Todd Holloway
Executive Director & CEO                     Chair Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee                                                                                               
301.717.7447                                                            253.830.4279

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies is the only national organization with a mission of equal access to emergency and disaster programs before, during, and after disasters for people with disabilities. We are the nation’s experts on disability rights, accessibility and inclusion throughout all phases of emergency preparedness, disaster operations, and community wide disaster recovery.