What We Need - Brad Linnenkamp

June 24, 2020

My name is Brad Linnenkamp and I have cerebral palsy. I am from Lawrence, Kansas. Due to COVID-19, the people that I have working with me in the mornings have not changed at all but, the person that I work with in the evening has chosen only to come over a couple of times during the week, so I don't always have the help I need at night. However, in an emergency, she said that she would come over. I also have some friends that sometimes bring me meals and check in on me to see how I am doing. The hardest thing about this whole situation that affects me the most is not having as much contact with people.

If I want to go out, I don't feel safe because not everyone is wearing a mask, and it's hard to find a place to go. I'm struggling to find ways to help make that part feel normal. I have found ways to work through some of those issues in regards to being able to communicate with family, friends, and the people who help me on the day to day basis but I live alone and it has still been difficult at times. Fortunately for me and my coworkers we have been able to continue to work from home. Due to this, my income has not changed. I do understand this is not the situation for everyone and people have lost their jobs but, even though it seems like the end of this pandemic may last quite a bit longer it will end and hopefully the economy will bounce back.

People keep saying that "we are in this together", but as a person with a disability, I do not feel like we are. I'm worried that if I do get sick, will I have access to a ventilator because of my disability. I know Congress is working on the fourth relief package for COVID-19. I want to learn more about how you are going to help people with disabilities in this package. Thank you very much for your time.