What the COVID-19 crisis teaches us about the place for disability in society

Charli, age 19 

COVID-19 is making an impact across all of our daily lives – but for me, as a disabled and chronically ill young person, some of these challenges are already familiar. As an activist, I am fighting for better communication and support for disabled people, both during this crisis and in the future. 

For many disabled people, traditional education and work places are not spaces we fit. When asking for accommodations like working from home, it is seen as an inconvenience, and we are told they aren’t possible. 

Yet when COVID-19 began, it took only days for companies and universities to move online and to adapt imaginatively to using new digital tools. While welcome, I can’t say I didn’t feel frustrated that this was suddenly possible. 

We shouldn’t let healthcare, schools and workplaces say they can’t facilitate these accommodations once the crisis is over, just because able-bodied people are back to life as normal.

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