Staying Indoors Due to COVID-19: How People Who Are Not Disabled May Learn about Mobility and Reasonable Accommodations and Become Allies of Those with Disabilities

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COVID-19 lockdown, attitudinal barriers, accessible infrastructure, reasonable accommodations



This essay argues that lockdowns imposed by governments in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic starkly foreground the perennial problems of mobility and accessibility faced by individuals with disabilities. Since non-disabled people are experiencing what it means to be prevented from moving out of doors freely, they should at long last be able to reflect with greater sensitivity on issues facing persons with disabilities such as inaccessible roads, buildings, offices and recreational facilities, and attitudinal barriers in employment. Thus, being in the pandemic may assist those who are not disabled to become allies of persons with disabilities. I draw on three sets of sources to make my case: the books, Planet of the Blind: A Memoir and Have Dog, Will Travel, authored by Stephen Kuusisto (1998, 2018), an American poet and memoirist with a visual disability; two newspaper articles from India; and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the Covid-19 pandemic. In the course of the argument, the essay calls for greater respect and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in our society.


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