With approximately 12.6 percent of the population in Arizona having a disability, and 11 percent of residents in Santa Cruz County identified as living with a disability, according to the MAP Dashboard project of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, it is critical that we consider the added challenges and stress that Santa Cruz County residents living with a disability are currently enduring as a result of the pandemic.
Firstly, the proper allocation of federal funds for this population has been a problem recently. While businesses and other sectors are receiving assistance, this assistance is not as readily available for disabled people. While CARES Act funding trickles down, pending allocation of these funds for Medicaid has led to complications in the application of these funds to help cover additional services needed for the disabled population.
Another point to consider is the growing levels of depression being brought about by this pandemic. Interpersonal contact is critical for care, and COVID has made in-person visits and follow up more difficult. Thus, others are having to assume more responsibility than ever before in making sure needs and services (to the best of their ability) are being met.
I ask that we consider this challenge that the disabled community is living with in these extremely difficult times, and that we collectively come together to find how we can best help.