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Disability Rights and COVID-19

Other Health & Benefit Issues

COVID-19 and the governmental responses to this pandemic can present particular risks and issues for many people with disabilities. This page contains resources from Disability Rights Texas and other agencies. Disability Rights Texas has developed resources addressing disability discrimination at work, the rights of college students with disabilities and Texas renter rights, and more. Read more about their services and dedicated COVID-19 materials here. 

Housing

  • The law requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. Having COVID-19, getting exposed to COVID-19, or even showing symptoms that might be confused with COVID-19 could be considered disabilities that require your landlord to work with you. Read this article by the The National Housing Law Project for more information.
    • Rent payment plan as a reasonable accommodation: The National Housing Law Project article includes a sample letter for attorneys who want to work out a rent payment plan for their client as a reasonable accommodation.                                                                                                                                   
  • The law requires landlords to reasonably accommodate tenants who have disabilities and protects such tenants from discrimination. For additional information, read Rights for Tenants with Health Issues
  • Ending a lease: Sometimes a landlord might have to let you end your lease early as a reasonable accommodation. If you have to move because you need care or because something about your home aggravates a disability, use this tool from Disability Rights Texas to help request an early lease termination. If you asked for an early termination but creditors are still demanding rent or fees, use this tool to demand they stop.
  • Disability Rights Texas has published the following FAQs:

Education

  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid developed a FAQ on Special Education Rights during COVID. Read it here.
  • With Texas schools being closed or moving to online learning, Disability Rights Texas has developed resources for parents of students with disabilities whose special education services are being affected in order to make sure caregivers are aware that their children still have rights and protections despite any disruptions caused by the outbreak. More information can be found here and a video (with captions) can be viewed below. Click here for a version of the presentation in Spanish.

            

Disability Rights Texas has created this FAQ on Guidance About COVID-19 for Students with Disabilities in College, Graduate or Professional School, or Technical or Vocational Training Programs. Watch a video on this subject below.

Employment

Health

  • For information on healthcare access and public benefits during COVID-19, see Health Care and Public Benefits During COVID-19.                                
  • The law requires landlords to reasonably accommodate tenants who have disabilities and protects such tenants from discrimination. For additional information, read Rights for Tenants with Health Issues. 
  • Information on accessibility issues at drive-thru medical sites can be found here.                                                                   

Mask Policies in Stores and Other Private Businesses

During the pandemic, many businesses require people to wear masks. Many perosns with disabilities have a higher risk for serious illness if they get COVID-19. Disability Rights has created this publication answering some of the questions we receive about disability laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Disability Rights Texas: Vaccine Hotline

  • Are you having trouble signing up for the vaccine on your computer – or you don’t use computers?

  • Do you need a ride to the place giving the shots?

  • Is it hard to leave your home and you need the vaccine brought to you?

  • Do you want to learn more about the vaccine before you get it?

Disability Rights Texas can help. They are now assisting Texans with disabilities who are having trouble getting their COVID-19 vaccine for these reasons and more. They can also help provide more information about the vaccine from reliable sources to help you make your decision. Their Vaccine Access Navigators are specially trained to help connect you to what you need to get the vaccine.

For help, call the DRTx Vaccine Hotline for People with Disabilities at 1-800-880-8401 or email us at vaccine@DRTx.org.

Hotline hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This hotline is for vaccine access issues only. For other disability rights issues, call their main line at 1-800-252-9108.