How Disability Accommodations Have Improved During the Lockdown

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by Frankie Perazzola |

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spirituality, accommodations, internalized ableism, broken bone, fitness, newly diagnosed, reflecting

The endless lockdowns and life-altering changes we’ve experienced due to the global health crisis have shown the disabled community that society is capable of becoming accessible. Everyday jobs can be done at home, grocery delivery is prioritized and encouraged, and restaurants and shops are willing to bring items out to your car. What most people don’t understand is that this way of life would benefit the disabled and elderly communities, even in “normal” times.

I can’t begin to count the number of conversations I’ve had with other disabled folks who have been denied jobs because they require accommodations to make it through a full workday. From taking frequent bathroom breaks, to needing excused absences to attend necessary medical appointments, to simply needing more workdays, requested accommodations are often denied or met with an eye roll for the inconvenience.

In the eyes of a person without a disability or illness, I can understand how these accommodations may seem like a lot. However, the stay-at-home order has helped us see that anyone can get the job done remotely.

Before the actual lockdown, I routinely had my groceries delivered. Walking around the grocery store requires a lot of energy, which I don’t have. It’s also helpful to just purchase what I need instead of wandering around the store and picking up what’s on sale.

The increased number of delivery drivers and stores offering delivery services was wonderful. Having groceries delivered really takes away most headaches and hassles that come with leaving the house. While I fully support getting fresh air and leaving the house as much as possible, some things can be avoided to conserve energy. Grocery shopping is one of them.

The last thing I want to discuss is the widespread access to curbside pickup services offered by local businesses. I miss out on a lot of sales and shopping (probably for the better) because it’s such a hassle to get everything out of the car and walk through the store. 

Driving to pick up food is way easier. Frequent delivery fees and staying at home can accumulate, causing frustration and possible financial trouble. A curbside pickup option demonstrates how simple it can be for a restaurant or business employee to run the bag out of the store. This has helped me feel like everyone else, because I didn’t have to arrange a meetup or talk to the supervisor about accommodations.

With all of that being said, I have witnessed folks address many of these accommodation and accessibility issues over the past year. I hope society can continue this, and I hope that people see how important these adjustments are for those of us in the disabled community. We want to operate like everyone else, exist like the average population, and go with the flow as much as we can. If these services were always offered upfront, I guarantee that many more people would utilize them and frequent these businesses.

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