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Concerns being raised about Ontarians with disabilities during COVID-19

A forum was held Tuesday to discuss challenges that people with disabilities are facing
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The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance is calling on the government to address challenges that 2.6 million Ontarians with disabilities may face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group held a forum on Tuesday, looking at different hardships and challenges those with disabilities are dealing with. 

Access to healthcare, protection from the virus and online learning are just some of the causes for concern that were addressed. 

David Lepofsky, Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance told Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS that many people with disabilities have someone taking care of them on a daily basis, but this poses some risk to their health. 

"Attendant care workers on whom they rely, aren't necessarily getting access to the protective gear which we all know to be in short supply. You will hear talk of health care workers needing it, but they need it too, and if they don't get there is the risk of it being transmitted to the individual with a disability."

He said they are also concerned that people with disabilities will not have the assistance they need when they have to visit the hospital since there are restrictions on who can come into the hospital. He said there needs to be exemptions, so people with disabilities can get access to the care they need. 

Online learning is also something that was addressed during the forum. 

"There are hundreds of thousands of students with disabilities, for some of them, online learning will present accessibility barriers. If we don't create content online that is accessible, then our students who are blind or dyslexic won't be able to read it."

Lepofsky said there was no strategy outlined by the Ontario Government to help students with disabilities as they made the move to online learning. 


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