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Academy Members and other partners joined the Academy's third Virtual Roundtable on Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Impacts on the Disability Community, on Tuesday May 5 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT. 

The online discussion was anchored by brief presentations from Academy experts and a Q&A moderated by Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress. See below for additional speakers. 

Download the presentation

Read a recap of the roundtable


Topic Overview:

People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable and face significant risks to their health and financial wellbeing due to the COVID-19 crisis. Certain disabilities and chronic illnesses can put people with disabilities at a higher risk of severe illness or death from a COVID-19 infection, especially those that are currently in institutional care facilities. Additionally, it may be harder for some people with disabilities to completely self-isolate and still receive the care and resources they need, such as assistance with daily living activities.

Current crisis response legislation includes provisions to address these impacts and increase the resources available for people with disabilities, including expansions to paid leave benefits, increases in nutrition assistance programs, expansions of unemployment insurance programs, increases in funding for housing for people with disabilities and for independent living centers, among others. Additionally, many people with disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits will qualify for the stimulus rebate and still maintain their eligibility for means-tested federal benefits programs.

Even with those considerations, there are still many gaps that will need to be addressed to ensure that people with disabilities have access to critical services during this crisis. Participants in this Virtual Roundtable focused on how the disability community has been impacted and explored the government’s response, queueing up a discussion of how future federal and state legislation might further address the needs of people with disabilities.

Are you analyzing the recent federal responses to COVID-19, including impacts on the disability community, and would like to share resources related to this topic? Please contact Bill Arnone, CEO, at



Robert Espinoza




Merrill Friedman




Bethany Lilly

The Arc



Moderator: Rebecca Vallas

Center for American Progress

May 5th, 2020 from  2:00 PM to  3:00 PM
Topics Disability
Contact Name Meghan Griffin
Contact Email