In response to the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) announcement that it had partnered with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer $100 million in grants to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities, ANCOR sent ACL a letter requesting that the agency allow some of those funds to be used to vaccinate Direct Support Professionals.
As written in the letter: “The well-being of DSPs cannot be separated from the well-being of the people they support because of the intimate nature of some of the tasks they perform. As such, vaccinating DSPs against COVID-19 helps maintain the well-being of people with disabilities. The importance of this cannot be understated given that people with disabilities are more likely to die than the general population if they contract COVID-19. Finally, vaccinating DSPs will help remedy broader inequities surrounding vaccine access, given that a large share of the DSP workforce is drawn from communities of color who have struggled to access COVID-19 vaccinations. Funding vaccination drives targeted at DSPs will be a strategic investment as this nation seeks to combat new surges of COVID-19.”
We will keep our members informed of ACL’s response and of any opportunities for additional advocacy on this topic.