By Michael Rock:
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a seemingly-endless array of unsetling news stories, especially regarding people with developmental disabilities. Fortunately there has been some light within the darkness.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for progress made in the rights of people with autism to not be undermined amid the coronavirus crisis on April 2 as part of an address to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day.
On April 3, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed two bills to address the needs of people with disabilities in the state. Their provisions include establishing rights for people reliant on state services, amending several existing laws to reflect people-first language.
That same day, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that they were in talks with the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), which represents 1,600 disability service providers throughout the United States, to deliver food to group homes as an alternative to direct care workers going to the supermarket amid the pandemic.
With all of the negative news about the unique challenges COVID-19 has inflicted on people with disabilities and their families, these developments should show that not all is bleak.
Michael Rock is a New York City-based reporter and self-advocate with autism. A graduate of Brandeis University, his work has appeared in Kings County Politics, Chelsea Now, Our Town, Queens County Politics, and WhoWhatWhy.