All too many of the homes for disabled adults, including developmentally disabled adults, have had past violations that would indicate they were unprepared or unqualified to handle COVID-19 safety practices. One of these housed Joe Sullivan, a developmentally disabled man who was recently rushed into a nearby emergency room with the likely development of COVID-19.
The Executive Director for Disability Rights Louisiana stated that people within this section of society are marginalized and that it’s visible in every element of life. He noted that people with developmental disabilities miss out on education opportunities, don’t experience the same civil rights as other Americans, and face employment challenges. Christopher Rodriquez, the Executive Director, acknowledged that this pandemic has truly exposed the struggles of the disabled community. Many homes for the disabled had to scramble to obtain personal protective equipment and were slow in providing testing for both patients and employees.
The Disability Rights Louisiana office is now urging the federal government to create established safety within certain settings. The most dangerous of these facilities being Intermediate Care Facilities, of which about 40% fail to meet basic safety standards for controlling communicable diseases and infections.
Intermediate Care Facilities are the primary establishments that state agencies evaluate safety concerns with high failure rates during inspections. Others often don’t go through investigations or inspections. Approximately 66,000 others live in group homes for people with disabilities, including mental and developmental disabilities.
The federal government, through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ordered information on the presence and impact of COVID-19 within nursing homes. That same request was not made to Intermediate Care Facilities or group homes for people with disabilities. Often people with disabilities and their family members don’t have very many options when it comes to obtaining necessary care and housing. Contact our New Orleans disability attorneys today for further assistance.