Colleen Starkloff is on the front line for advocacy

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photo of Colleen Kelly Starkloff

In the midst of this Coronavirus Pandemic, SDI’s Co-Founder Colleen Starkloff continues the fight for Disability Rights.  COVID-19 has uncovered many flaws in our healthcare system, especially regarding the rights of people with disabilities to have the same access to healthcare as people who don’t have disabilities.

Colleen has been on the scene advocating for doctors, nurses and medical care sites to plan for people with disabilities during this time of high-patient volume.

“Although Max and I have fought for equal access to our society since 1973, politicians and some healthcare professionals are still talking about rationing healthcare during this pandemic,” Colleen reports, “and their policies, if allowed to be implemented, would send disabled people and seniors to the back of the healthcare line.”

Colleen has been the Chair of Centene’s National Disability Advisory Council for the past 8 years. Along with other notable Disability Rights leaders, she helps the national healthcare system create a welcoming atmosphere for patients by advocating  patient rights, emergency preparedness and personnel training.

Joining with these leaders, Colleen argues the recent statement of the Health and Human Services Equal Rights division, reiterating that to ration healthcare for people with disabilities is illegal and constitutes discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [Work related to CNDAC/COVID-19].

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 spread in the United States, Colleen has been working tirelessly to ensure people with disabilities have the attendants, wages, overtime hours, personal protective equipment and other services they need to be able to shelter in place.

Disabled people are a vulnerable population during disasters, and must be able to access the care and support they need to continue to live productive and independent lives.

In addition to all of these efforts, she’s also been in the press urging doctors to recognize that people with disabilities are lives worth saving.

Colleen works to ensure people with disabilities get to #AccessEveryMoment in all facets of society by securing their rights to healthcare.

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