by Amber Davis, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C Research Associate, Johns Hopkins University Disability Research Center email@example.com
As an intersectional researcher I am committed to understanding the ways that intersectionality shows up and causes challenges for neurodiverse Black/African Americans and their families, with an emphasis on the experiences of the Black autism community. In doing this work, it is a Big Task to be pioneering capturing race-autism intersectionality and resultant harms (i.e., additive hardships, chronic discrimination and cumulative trauma), quantitatively and qualitatively. Understanding psychosocial mechanisms for risk of Black autistic adults is a critical component to my program of research. In being steeped in this work and in the spirit of evolving as a scientist, a personal + ethical challenge I have been faced with in the past year as an early-stage researcher is to not stop there even when so many researchers seem comfortable and complacent with doing only this…
Every October students across the United States wait with bated breath for their bar exam results to be posted. After studying for the LSAT, three years of law school, and even more time spent for the bar exam, everyone wants to finally see their hard work pay off and start a legal career. Yet, there are law school graduates who, even after passing the bar exam, cannot be sworn in as attorneys because they checked “yes” on a question on the Character and Fitness portion of the application and then were determined to be “unfit to practice law.”
On July 26, 2023, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) turns 33. The ADA was intended to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in areas including employment, transportation, housing, and public accommodations. While the ADA and other discrimination laws exist to protect people with disabilities (PWD) from discrimination, the reality is that PWD must grapple with the aftereffects of loopholes within the laws daily. Often from a shortage of governmental financial resources available or allocation, PWD still face a lack of accommodations regularly.
Disclaimer: The writer of this blog identifies as a quadriplegic operating a manual wheelchair. The contents of this blog are an opinion of the writer based on their lived experience and several years as a peer mentor for people with disabilities and not meant to omit the experiences of other people with disabilities.
Online dating has made romance – or at least meeting people – more accessible than ever. Dating sites give people with disabilities a platform to maybe find that “someone special.” Many people form meaningful relationships–some local and some long distance. For those with disabilities, dating apps can be a remedy for the isolation brought on by barriers such as limited transportation options and the COVID-19 pandemic which have made it difficult to meet new people. It also provides an opportunity to disclose your disability on your terms. However, whether you’re swiping left, being left on read without a response, or swimming in dating matches, online dating is a heart-pounding experience…just not always in a good way. For those with disabilities, the worry that their disability will be too much for a potential partner is often very real. Which begs the question, “To disclose or not to disclose?”–But is that the right question?
Traffic stops are already dangerous and have proven deadly for black drivers, and when you add disability, your risk increases. My fear of a traffic stop is one that I have all the time. Not long ago, it came true on the DC Capital Beltway. I was driving down the beltway when I looked in my rearview mirror to see a state trooper following me. I knew at that point he would pull me over. When he did, my heart was beating because I immediately thought about our location and what he would do when I told him my wallet was in my wheelchair backpack. At first, he didn’t get out of the car, and he was talking through his car speaker. I couldn’t tell him I was in a wheelchair, and I couldn’t do what he asked, which was to get out of the car. I wasn’t speeding too much that required me to get out, so I didn’t understand why that was being requested.
“Health inequities are difference in health status or the distribution of health resources between different populations or groups arising from the social condition in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.” There are many health inequities that are associated with disability – caused by stigma, discrimination, poverty, exclusion from education and employment, and other barriers within the healthcare system. One health inequity that is rarely named for people with disabilities is lost time, or the time cost associated with being disabled. There is a time cost associated with navigating welfare and healthcare systems, coordinating medical care, and managing personal care and symptoms. On top of that, public inaccessibility and legal barriers isolate disabled people from their greater community; therefore, disabled people often have to navigate the complicated coordination of their care without the support system that many non-disabled people enjoy. These time barriers also tend to disproportionately impact those with multiply marginalized identities, particularly people of color and queer people.
“If it’s COVID, Paxlovid.” Or is it? Pfizer launched its most recent commercial for Paxlovid in February 2023 and has gone full throttle into its advertisement of the drug. Pfizer first received Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for Paxlovid in December 2021 and then received a revised EUA in February 2023. The commercial touts the drug as a “miracle” drug of sorts. On November 6, 2022, the Office of Veterans Affairs released a study showing that Paxlovid can reduce the risk of symptoms of long COVID. Pfizer includes in its commercial for the drug, as required, that certain classes of people are excluded from taking Paxlovid based on negative drug interactions; however, the gravity of the number of people who are ineligible to take the drug is not readily apparent and leaves large swaths of the United States’ (“US”) and global populations without access to this life-saving drug. The lack of access to Paxlovid for the people most vulnerable to COVID-19- the elderly, people with disabilities, and other immunocompromised people – emphasizes the need for pharmaceutical companies to focus on developing treatment options that meet the needs of so many of those left behind.
Life-limiting inequities continue to persist in healthcare, community living and justice for people with disabilities.
The Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (Center for Dignity) focused on the important work of addressing the inequities that persist for people with disabilities in healthcare and their perpetuation due to systemic ableism.
Every person has their own unique and lived experiences. As poet Audre Lorde said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
Christina Eguizabal Love, Psy.D. Director of Health and Language Access Office for Health, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (O-HEID) Pediatric Neuropsychologist Kennedy Krieger Institute
In the United States, about 1 out of 5 people speak a language other than English at home,1 which equates to nearly 65 million individuals. Those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.2 Providing language access means ensuring that individuals with LEP can communicate effectively to participate in and receive healthcare, an important component of culturally competent services.3 In fact, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and corresponding regulations, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), indicate that federal agencies and those receiving federal financial assistance are required to provide meaningful access to services for LEP individuals via trained interpreters, translation services, and more.
The National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality is funded by the Administration for Community Living through funding opportunity number 90NCDE0001-01-00. This website formerly included the work of the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities.