On today’s show, we look at one disabled person’s experience being admitted into a hospital here in California this fall. His name is John Pixley. He was admitted into the hospital for four days this past October for something totally unrelated to the coronavirus. Despite prior assurances to the contrary, the hospital refused to allow his personal care attendants to be with him in the hospital. The reason given was Covid-19. John describes the experience as “unbearable, almost torturous,” and “inhumane.”
John is a columnist for the Claremont Courier and is also a prolific poet and blogger. In the past, he wrote plays and performed. These plays include Jury by Trial, which is based on a real life incident of being dismissed from jury duty on the basis of his speech impairment. He was much more active as a columnist, playwright, and performer before his spinal surgery in 2017, which left him far more disabled.
We’re also joined by June Isaacson Kailes. June is an independent consultant with decades of experience advising businesses, universities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations on disability-related issues, with an eye towards equity and inclusion. More recently, her work has focused on disaster readiness and response in the disability community, including now during the pandemic.
John tells us his story of being hospitalized without his attendants, and we get response from June.