URGENT: Town Hall to Advocate for COVID Vaccines for People with Disabilities
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
4:30 - 6 p.m. PT
Co-sponsored by
People with disabilities are at increased risk for getting and dying from COVID. Yet we are not being prioritized by the State of California in its vaccination guidelines. While family members of and staff for people with some disabilities are eligible for vaccination, the same is not true for the people they care for who are more in jeopardy.

In addition, the rollout has been very difficult to follow. There is little information about new phases, available appointments, or timelines for vaccinations. What information exists is very hard to find, and it's often not accessible.

People with disabilities can't wait for vaccines.
People with disabilities should be prioritized
in the next phase 1B.

Our voices need to be heard!
Join us for a
Town Hall on COVID Vaccines for People with Disabilities

  • Join members of the California Vaccine Advisory Committee from the disability community who will provide updates and comments
  • Hear personal stories from people with disabilities and family members about the importance of getting the vaccine now
  • Learn about ways to take action by calling and emailing our public officials who are making these critical decisions
  • We will take your questions and comments

  • Aaron Carruthers, Executive Director, State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Member, California Vaccine Advisory Committee
  • Andy Imparato, Executive Director, Disability Rights California; Member, California Vaccine Advisory Committee
  • Elizabeth Espinosa, Family member of a person with disabilities
  • Tim Jin, Self-Advocate
  • Amy Westling, Executive Director, Association of Regional Center Agencies
  • Moderated by: Judy Mark, President, Disability Voices United
  • More presenters to be announced
You must register to attend the town hall. Once you have registered, you will receive an email with the link to the town hall. You can register even after the town hall has begun.
Zoom meeting ID: 811 4680 8638
Zoom meeting password: 123456


We will be using Zoom's translation feature during this SDP Connect. When you enter the Zoom webinar, please be sure to select the language you wish to hear at the bottom of the Zoom screen, even if you are only interested in hearing the original English version of the call. We will offer technical assistance at the beginning of the call.
NOTE: The town hall will replace Disability Voices United's weekly SDP Connect. We promise to be back next week!
Decisions are being made about us without us!
Tell our state leaders that WE CAN'T WAIT!

  • Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Click HERE to email him
  • Or call at 916-445-2841
  • California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly
  • Click HERE to email him
  • Dr. Tomas Aragon, Director, California Dept of Public Health
  • Click HERE to email him


1) Introduce yourself - say if you are
  • a person with a disability
  • a family member of a person with a disability
  • a professional who works with people with disabilities

2) Explain why the vaccine is important for people with disabilities
  • We can't wait for a vaccine
  • People with disabilities are more at risk for getting and dying of COVID
  • People with disabilities need to be prioritized for vaccinations
  • The vaccine rollout must be accessible to people with disabilities

Your email or phone call doesn't have to be long. It just needs to be your words and feelings. AND IT NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT AWAY!
COVID-19 Surges in California:
Resources for Staying Vigilant
California is now the epicenter of America's COVID-19 epidemic. Hospitals and intensive care units across the state are overwhelmed. Vaccines are being distributed, but rollout is slower than many of us would have hoped. And, as our health officials have explained, the less work we are giving the vaccines to do, the quicker the vaccines will help.

We all need to redouble our efforts in order to give each other the best chance of seeing loved ones, enjoying social events, and carrying out our lives again in the future.

Disability Voices United has some resources listed below to help you stay as safe as possible. Please understand that some of these resources were created at the very beginning of the pandemic. Some may not make reference to later developments because of this, but these resources still have good information. If you'd like more resources on coping with coronavirus as a person with a developmental disability or a family member, you can visit our coronavirus website.
This is Disability Voices United's new tip sheet for healthcare professionals on how to provide treatment to patients with developmental disabilities. Click the image to make it bigger. Consider printing this out and bringing it to any doctor's or hospital visits
Click the image below to view and fill out a Health Passport. This document helps people with developmental disabilities communicate with their doctors and nurses in case of hospitalization.
Hospital trips have become a big source of anxiety for many people during the pandemic. During the beginning of the pandemic, there was lots of concern from the developmental disability community regarding hospital bans on visitors. Linked below is the All-Facilities Letter from the California Department of Public Health that states that people with developmental disabilities may have 1 support person present with them in the hospital.
This awesome help sheet by Héctor M. Ramírez lists a number of resources that self-advocates can turn to. Click to enlarge.
Finally, self-advocates and families were excited to have this worksheet by Emma Erenmark on coping with social isolation. Now is a great time to brush up on your coping skills. Click below to enlarge.
Image of a photo collage of self-advocates and family members at the California State capitol and various other places around California.
Disability Voices United works for:

  • Choice and control over our lives

  • Meaningful outcomes that matter to us

  • Systems that are equitable and accountable to us

Please consider donating today to support our important work!