There’s a growing movement to get people to wear masks at public events. The motivation? Maskless events post a risk to people with certain disabilities, and/or with chronic illnesses, and to their caregivers.
In other words, this is an issue of disabilities rights.
Of course, it’s not just masks. Ideally, all the events that we organize or participate in would be set up to minimize the transmission of infectious diseases. And it’s not just COVID. It’s also about influenza and RSV (and yikes, now there’s even a measles outbreak in Ohio).
Which brings us to “The Public Health Pledge: committing to safer and more inclusive events,” which reads like this:
“I am committed to diversity and inclusion, including people with disabilities, chronic illness, and caregivers, therefore I pledge to only participate in or organize events that have robust Health and Safety policies.
“Events must meet these criteria:
• The event has a Health and Safety policy, and if the policy changes it is only strengthened – never weakened – between the event’s announcement and the event itself.
• The event actively communicates this policy by including it on their website, in the registration flow, and speaker proposal process, discussing the policy regularly during events, and including it everywhere important announcements are shared.
• The event’s policy includes active measures designed to minimize the number of participants who are infected with transmissible diseases like COVID-19, as well as mitigate transmission between participants.”
You can “sign” the pledge online.
A good concrete way to strengthen disability rights.