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Defending Against Harmful Policies

September 2020 in , ,

State legislatures are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, trying to do their best to protect and provide vital social services to their constituents. While some states are passing inclusive policies to stabilize our local economies, others are using the pandemic as an opportunity to pass harmful policies that will have devastating impacts on our communities. Additionally, some policies are intended to support struggling families but are having unintended consequences. 

Resources: 

  • A growing group of anti-maskers are trying to avoid it by misusing disability laws.
    • With the spread of the coronavirus, many states and localities require wearing masks to protect communities from the virus, as a result, some are attempting to misuse the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
    • Flyers urging anti-maskers to specifically rely on the right to not disclose a disability as the response for denial of access to public spaces have gained traction across the U.S.  
    • The ADA has a clause that says disabilities must be accommodated except when there is “a significant risk to the health or safety of others.” The refusal to wear a mask endangers the very communities protected by the ADA. 
    • Actions that aim to contort the purpose of the ADA actively harm people living with disabilities. Messaging and proactive measures from state legislators about the importance of social distancing and the importance of wearing a mask is critical to stopping the abuse of the ADA.