Many of the changes he’s suggesting are simple, he says, like spelling out the process of getting vaccinated on a website so people can know what to expect before their appointment, or letting people fill out paperwork in advance. Others might be more complex but are important for ensuring everyone has access to the vaccine, he says. He suggests that health departments make staff available to answer questions by phone and have a process for people getting their shots to request accommodations before their appointments.
“If you need a sign language interpreter, you should be able to let the clinic know. If you need a larger font size on your vaccine information, you should be able to tell them that,” he says. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan says it’s working to implement Moore’s suggestions. “People with disabilities face barriers to healthcare access and higher rates of adverse COVID-19 outcomes,” says Madison McCullough, the community health coordinator with the department. “Striving for the highest possible standard of health for all people and giving special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk based on social conditions is a core function of public health.”
Making it easy for people with disabilities to get vaccinated is important, not just because it protects them, but because it’s part of reaching herd immunity across the entire population, says Moore. Listen to the full interview online at WCMU Public Radio.
WCMU Public Radio | Northern Michigan Disability Group Helps Vaccine Clinics with Accessibility
Disability Network Northern Michigan is the first stop for people with disabilities and their families in northern Michigan. Our mission is to promote personal empowerment and positive social change for people with disabilities. We educate and connect people with disabilities to resources while advocating for social change in an accessible and welcoming community. Disability Network is providing services to customers and community members via phone, email and online. Our office is closed to walk-in business until further notice. We welcome you to virtually join us for peer support and connection with our weekly Zoom online events. Please see our website event page for Zoom online event details!
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