A Message from P&A Regarding COVID-19
“Social distancing.” “Isolation.” “Self-quarantine.” “No visitors.” These are new phrases we are now hearing in South Carolina. As Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P&A) takes safety measures to protect our clients and staff, we reflect on how familiar some of these phrases likely feel to the people we serve, who feel isolated in their communities due to the lack of equal access to services.
One thing this pandemic has demonstrated, is that the system is not set up for people with disabilities. What seems like “universal” advice, such as frequent hand washing, is often not so easy for those with physical disabilities because many public places still lack accessibility. In other words, there continues to be little recognition that those with disabilities face many barriers, daily and during a crisis.
P&A will continue to protect and advocate for people with disabilities, to ensure no one is left behind and all rights are upheld. Our information and referral services will continue during the coronavirus outbreak, especially as changes to public services, employment, and schools develop.
We are committed to accurate and consistent communication. Our team will continue to research and pull together materials so that we can provide information and advice for people who contact us when their services or rights are compromised due to COVID-19.
We know that things are not business-as-usual. To protect the health and safety of the people we serve, and our staff, P&A will be limiting routine or non-emergency monitoring visits and investigations at state facilities, until further notice. We are following state guidance to protect people in nursing homes, hospitals, and prison populations that may be at higher risk. In addition, P&A will be limiting in person meetings and temporarily stopping walk-in services. Individuals can continue to contact us through phone or email.
The safety of our staff and the clients we serve comes first. P&A’s policies will ensure that our clients receive only the highest standards of care in terms of both service and safety. On a daily basis, P&A will rely on updated direction from the CDC, the state Department of Health, and Governor McMaster to make informed choices about how to continue the important work we do daily.
For more information go to our new resource page on the Coronavirus.
As always, take care.
Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities
Information and Referral Services
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Mission: Protecting and Advancing Disability Rights