Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Hospital Visitation for Patients with Disabilities
Disability Rights California and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Patients with Disabilities Can Have a Support Person with Them When Needed
for Equal Care
Many patients with disabilities need a support person when they are in
- Hospitals and doctors must give all people with disabilities the “reasonable
modifications” they need to get equal care.
- “Reasonable modifications” are changes that disabled people
need to be equal. One example is to let you have a support person with
you in the hospital.
A support person can help you in different ways like:
- talk or communicate with others.
- get around your room and the hospital.
- feel better and less worried.
- help you with things like eating and staying clean.
- The support person can be your personal care attendant, a family member,
a friend, or other caregiver.
The Support Person Can’t Be Sick and Must Wear a Mask
- Your support person must not have COVID-19 or any signs of being sick with
COVID-19. The hospital or doctor is allowed to check support persons for COVID-19.
- Your support person must follow the rules about personal protective equipment.
This is sometimes called “PPE” for short.
- Masks and gloves are examples of personal protective equipment. Your support
person must wear personal protective equipment if the hospital or doctor
tells them to.
- Your support person should bring their own mask and gloves. If your support
person does not have their own, they should ask for some at the visitor
Patients with Disabilities Can Have Video and Phone Calls, With Help and
Extra Time if Needed
- You can have video and phone calls using phones or tablets or computers.
You may need help to use a phone, computer, tablet or other device. This
help could include:
- A staff person to help you use a phone, tablet, or computer.
- A larger screen or a videophone or something else for your disability.
- Extra time with a computer or other device that the hospital owns and lets
Rules about Visitors Should be Public
- Hospitals and doctors have to tell you and your family all of their rules
for visitors. The rules should talk about support persons for people with
disabilities. The rules should also talk about PPE like masks or gloves.
- Hospital and doctors should put up signs about visitors at the building,
in parking lots, and where you enter. They should post their rules online
and on Facebook, Instagram, and other places. They should make sure that
you can understand these rules.
We are Here to Help
Disability Rights California and DREDF are here to help. If you or someone
you know have problems with access to your support person or making online
or phone visits, please contact us.
Disability Rights California
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
Phone: (510) 644-2555