For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card
WASHINGTON, DC – Connecticut is discriminating against people with disabilities in its vaccine distribution plan, according to a complaint filed by Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT). The complaint asks the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights to immediately rule the state’s plan for who gets a vaccine violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws that guarantee accommodations for people with disabilities.
Attorneys at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) agree with the complaint’s findings and submitted their own letter today asking HHS to take swift action to resolve the complaint so people with disabilities in high risk categories can receive the vaccine.
According to Disability Rights Connecticut, a member of NDRN, the state and Governor Lamont created an age-based system for vaccine distribution which disregarded guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that individuals with underlying medical conditions be prioritized to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. People with certain disabilities are at significantly increased risk of contracting a severe case or dying of COVID-19.
“Failing to take disability into account in vaccine distribution and relying solely on age violates the law,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “We call upon HHS to resolve this complaint quickly and order Connecticut to adopt reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities in their vaccine distribution plan.”
# # #
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.