1. If you CAN PASS as NOT DISABLED, do NOT disclose your disability
Unfortunately, several states, such as Alabama, are considering rationing care based on disability status– even if that disability has NOTHING to do with whether or not you’re likely to survive Covid-19. Alabama’s policy targets those with intellectual disabilities, dementia, and Down’s Syndrome.
Because of the discrimination currently being suggested by government as official policy, I am recommending that if your disability isn’t related to your chances of surviving covid-19, or your covid care, you don’t need to disclose it.
2. If you can NOT pass as non-disabled, have an able-bodied person with you
Why? If you cannot pass as non-disabled, you should have a loved one who is able-bodied there to advocate for you because the doctor is more likely to save you if they see an able-bodied person vouching for the value of your life.
3. Are you or your disabled loved ones non-speaking? If so, print out and complete a CommunicationFIRST Covid-19 Communication Rights Toolkit!
CommunicationFIRST is an amazing organization seeking to protect the rights of disabled people who might be denied care because of the assumption that life as a disabled person is less worth living. Here is their human rights guide and printable forum to take with you when you go to get Covid-19 treatment.
4. Do NOT argue with people on social media about the value of your life
This is more of a mental health tip, but we disabled people know that what the US government is talking about constitutes genocide. It is emotionally exhausting to argue with people about how and why you deserve care.
5. Love your allies
In times like these, people show you who they actually are deep down. Luckily, despite the bad actors, humans are remarkably pro-social as a species, and in times of great hardship, we must remember to look for the helpers, as Mr. Rodgers once said.
Your allies may be what’s standing between you and being denied care. You allies are capable of calling government officials and complaining and *gasp* actually being listened to because they’re abled.
Now is the time to ask for non-disabled people to stand up! Abled folks, the government, the doctors, the police, and the local officials will always listen to your opinion before they listen to ours. Help us, we need you. We need each other.
– Faye Fahreheit
PS: Speaking of allies, Thought Slime, a Youtuber who is a friend of disabled people, was nice enough to spotlight my anti-eugenics video in a video they did, featured below. Thought Slime is a lovely channel and he’s come out against eugenics and ableist language. Thank you, Thought Slime for standing against genocide in all forms. Everyone please stay safe during this crisis.
- 5 Covid-19 Safety Tips For Disabled People Fearing Rationed Care - April 3, 2020
- An Open Letter to the NYT: Acknowledge the Controversy Surrounding ABA - January 11, 2020