HHS Office for Civil Rights affirms rights of persons with disabilities during COVID-19 emergency

March 31, 2020

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a bulletin affirming the right of persons with disabilities to receive needed medical care during the COVID-19 emergency, pointing out that “in this time of emergency, the laudable goal of providing care quickly and efficiently must be guided by the fundamental principles of fairness, equality, and compassion that animate our civil rights laws. This is particularly true with respect to the treatment of persons with disabilities during medical emergencies as they possess the same dignity and worth as everyone else.”

We applaud OCR for this important and timely reminder. The Advocacy Team at Autism Speaks is monitoring federal and state developments that could affect the protections afforded to autistic and other persons with disabilities.