DIEP RRTC

Podcast Episodes

Season Four

Andrew Wylam Cofounder of Pandemic Patients: Episode 18: Advocating for Long Haulers

Episode 18: Advocating for Long Haulers

Pandemic Patients founder Andrew Wylam discusses the reasons he created the organization, and his vision for future national efforts to address issues facing individuals with disabilities with Long COVID. The organization also manages a COVID 19 Advocacy Center to connect individuals with Long COVID with policy makers in support of legislative proposals that will improve access to health services and expansion of family and medical leave policies. His organization offers a Legal Assistance Network that provides attorneys who volunteer their time to assist individuals with Long COVID with such issues as disability discrimination in the workplace and access to social security disability benefits. He explains some of the challenges he has encountered as he has advocated for policies that are shaped around Long COVID, but also discusses the importance of supporting individuals with Long COVID on a one-on-one basis to help them with their new daily challenges.

Episode 19: Accommodations in the Era of Long COVID

Professor Yana Rodgers, Rutgers University and Professor Jennifer Cohen, Miami University discuss their collaborative research about Long COVID, disability and accommodation. Their research examines the prevalence of Long COVID across different demographic groups, and the extent with which workers with impairments associated with Long COVID have benefitted from remote work. People with pre-existing disabilities, women, sexual and gender minorities, individuals without college degrees and Hispanic people are more likely to experience Long COVID. These groups are also more likely to be clustered in jobs less amenable to remote work. Rodgers and Cohen suggest other types of accommodations for employers to consider, including flexible scheduling and task-sharing that re-evaluates essential job functions.

Episode 20: Long COVID and Disability Employment Policy

Sharon Rennert, senior attorney with the ADA Division of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has played a leading role in the development of their policy interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. In this podcast, Sharon explains the protections for people with disabilities in employment and how they apply to people with Long COVID. Rennert describes the importance for employers to understand the protections that job applicants and employees with disabilities have in the workplace, and the related responsibility for people with disabilities to understand the process for securing needed accommodations that enable them to perform the essential functions of their job.

Episode 21: Long COVID: An Emerging, Essential Research Area

Vidya Sundar and Debra Brucker, co-principal investigators of the University of New Hampshire’s  new Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Living and Working with Long COVID and Disabilities, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDLRR), discuss their proposed research activities to be implemented over the next five years. A critical piece of their research is to build on their prior study on the use and impact of “job crafting,” or how individuals can redesign their jobs to better align with their strengths without having to self-identify with a disability and rely on the formal disability accommodation process. To learn more about job crafting, and the other research projects to be implemented relating to people with pre-existing disabilities who have Long COVID, listen to this podcast.

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