The Highest Risk Population: Homes for the Disabled

| April 2020

a young man using a Rifton E-Pacer with the assistance of a caretakerLately, during this time of upheaval and isolation, we at Rifton find our thoughts turning often to the people we serve: those sheltering at home with their families and those in group homes and care facilities. In New York now, people in homes for the developmentally disabled are at the highest risk from COVID-19 – even higher than residents of nursing homes. So I was gratified to see this article in a major newspaper bringing attention to the situation. The terrible conditions at Willowbrook School in the 1960s and ‘70s were a major catalyst for the beginning of Rifton Equipment and the disability rights movement in general. The article reminds us how far we’ve come since Willowbrook and how vital it is that we don’t regress even in a time of general hardship.

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