DPOs and new procedures because of the covid19 coronavirus

The skies are darkening now.

We know that covid19 will be fatal to many elderly people, and for the official new phrase for chronically sick and disabled people – “the vulnerable.”

The details will change over time, but the current projection is that 1 in 7 elderly persons ages over 80 years will not survive this virus.

A projected impact on “the vulnerable” isn’t known yet, but it surely won’t be good. For example, people with cystic fibrosis are already taking every precaution possible.

So, to get the ball rolling here is a suggestion:

*It would be helpful if DPOs could agree a general new standard procedure, and this is a suggestion for sharing, especially to less well resourced DPOs.*

1. Almost all meetings and events will be virtual until further notice.

2. We acknowledge that IT isn’t as accessible to many disabled people compared with a face-to-face meeting.

3. The better-resourced DPOs will assist the whole movement by developing standard IT solutions that are as accessible as possible, and will share these solutions as widely and generously as possible.

4. DPOs will be especially concerned that any disabled people who are currently excluded from existing IT solutions are supported, and that their lived experiences are used to inform changes to pre-existing IT partial-solutions where possible.

6. Finally, DPOs will aim for a common IT approach so that the interaction *between* DPOs and new networks of disabled people are as seamless as possible.

Only half-jokingly, it is almost the eleventh commandment for many younger disabled people that: And Truly I Say Unto Ye, Thou Shalt Trend On Twitter.

But we already know from some discussions within DPOs that Facebook, for example, is not accessible to some disabled people, and the solidarity of the movement would be broken if we just accept what some people find easy to use without listening to the lived experiences of others. This is where the better resourced DPOs can create and share their knowledge with the rest of the movement.

Let’s not forget why this is important.

Going back to the virus, the national policy aim is the delay the peak, but frankly that is to help with the limited capacities of the NHS. Sadly, delaying the peak won’t (currently) reduce the final total of deaths, but it will help health services cope.

And imagine if it will also be that 1 in 7 disabled people don’t survive this virus, or even 1 in 20.

The skies are darkening.

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