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Disability Advocacy Group Drops Vaccine Discrimination Suits

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SARAH Y. KIM/WYPR
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Entrance for people with physical disabilities getting the COVID-19 vaccine at M&T Bank Stadium

The disability advocacy group Arc Maryland has dropped the suits it filed in federal court last week charging that Baltimore City and five other jurisdictions were denying people with disabilities access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The organization charged local health departments were violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to include people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in their priority listings.

Then shortly after the suits were filed, the departments began updating their websites.

“It's unfortunate that it took a lawsuit to get this movement,” said Ande Kolp, Arc Maryland’s executive director. “But we're happy that things are moving in the right direction now.”

Kolp said she hopes that health departments will take this as a learning opportunity and will make the vaccine more accessible going forward.

“There was that kind of awareness that this brought, that there's a broader population...of people with IDD that needed this access,” Kolp said.

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