Our Fieldnotes section highlights notable ephemera and other materials — photographs, posters, artwork, event documentation, social media campaigns, and beyond  — encountered during our research that document the experiences of diverse disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please note: this page displays notes in a random order each time it is loaded or refreshed.

A cartoonish illustration of a man in a wheel chair in a garden. He has a speech bubble that says, "It has been difficult. People with disabilities tend to struggle getting true support. Hopefully this can be a chance for change." Bold text says, "Who is left out of the conversation?"

@_coronadiary The Artwork of Monique Jackson

In March 2020, Monique Jackson was infected with COVID-19 and has been experiencing symptoms of Long Covid ever since. In her project, Corona Diary, Jackson documents her story of living with the chronic illness in the UK. She published frequent illustrations that promoted self-advocacy, community building, and helpful resources. Her…...

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a light teal background with a white illustration of a plant stem with two leaves. In all capital letters and a clean font reads "COVID CAFÉ

Covid Café

Covid Café was a collection of drop-in online sessions for people who are experiencing Long Covid’s lasting effects. The Covid Café is hosted by Spare Tyre a “female artist-led participatory theatre company that seeks to reflect society, challenge its prejudices and make life equal.” The sessions were hosted in the…...

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At the bottom left of a deep yellow rectangle is the white Long Covid Justice logo. Two outlines of overlapping half circles with LONG COVID JUSTICE in bold text above them.

Long Covid Justice’s Pandemic Solidarity Valentines

Hijacking the graphic template format, Long Covid Justice posted 6 shareable valentines that center pandemic solidarity and liberation for all. They were created in collaboration with TransEquity in an effort to maintain a political framework of pandemic solidarity. They provided a wealth of resources and information. Long Covid Justice seeks…...

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Purple sans serif text with slight angularity and diamonds dotting the i’s says “The Sick Times”

The Sick Times

The Sick Times is an independent website that documents the ongoing Long Covid crisis. They invite readers to join them as they “​​investigate injustices, challenge powerful institutions, wade through the latest research, assess COVID-19 data, and offer a platform for those most affected by the crisis.” While COVID continues to…...

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The AAPD logo in a deep blue color with a white background. It is a blue and white power symbol AAPD in bold text and "American Association of People with Disabilities" written below it

AAPD Admonishes Proposed Changes to CDC COVID Isolation Guidance

In a February 2024 press release, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) critiqued the Biden-Harris administration and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention for their proposed changes in isolation guidelines for people with COVID-19. AAPD is a collaboration between disability advocates, government agencies, and corporate and…...

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A picture of Alice Wong, an Asian American disabled woman in a wheelchair, a tracheostomy is in her throat connected to a ventilator tube. She is in the emergency room at UCSF Moffitt/Long hospital. She's swaddled in blankets, her eyes are closed, and she's trying to sleep as she waits for test results and a bed in the intensive care unit. Behind her is a computer monitor with a bright glow. On a table in front of her is a wheelchair battery charger.

Alice Wong’s #N95s4UCSF: Call to Action

Alice Wong “(she/her) is a disabled activist, writer, editor, and community organizer. Alice is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.” Wong has created many conversation spaces for people to share their disabled experiences and tell their…...

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Against the white background with blue edges, there is the following text: "Tell Congress CDS's HICPAC needs public oversight", and a link to the action page. The words "Tell Congress" are in red, the rest of the text is in black.

People’ CDS public action to stop a harmful government policy

The People’s CDC is organizing a campaign calling for a public oversight of the actions of the CDS’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). “There is a dangerous new government policy being proposed which could harm healthcare workers and patients across the country. Instead of strengthening infection control policies in…...

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DHS’s Refusal to Release Medically Vulnerable Immigration Detainees

During the deadly first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that the sheer number of people having to live in the communal space of immigration detention made abiding by COVID-19 safety protocols impossible. In response, detainees, medical professionals, activists, and politicians called for ICE to exercise its discretion…...

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fabric masks lie on a table.

Tips for Those Who Cannot Wear a Mask

In this article for Rooted in Rights, author and activist Sunshine Mugrabi writes about her experience as someone who is unable to wear a mask due to chronic regional pain syndrome. Mugrabi discusses personal experiences of trying to navigate doctor’s offices and other spaces with policies that do not account…...

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A phrase used by Patty Berne of Sins Invalid long before the pandemic. “In 2019, Max Airborne re-ignited the phrase as the hashtag #NoBodyIsDisposable, along with Stacey Milbern and Dawn Haney, in an action with Fat Rose and Disability Justice Culture Club to bring Fat and Disability communities together to…...

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I checked and no one has ever actually done this hashtag. I want to add some. Please join in if you think of any #DisabledPeopleToldYou — G Peters ??‍? (@mssinenomine) June 28, 2020 A hashtag started in June 2020 by Canadian disability activist Gabrielle Peters (@mssinenomine), initially to comment…...

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A head shot of a dark-skinned male-appearing person standing against bright pink, blue and white background. His face looks skeptical, one eye squinted and eyebrow looking down, another eyebrow raised. He is grinning with a pinch of sadness.

Immunocompromised Man Learns COVID Is Over!

In this satirical short news story, Daniel Downer, 35, who has an autoimmune disease shared by 50 million Americans, expresses his sense of helplessness and bitter irony as he learns from the news that the pandemic is declared “over” by the officials. “I guess I don’t really have a choice,”…...

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A cover of the podcast page: against the black background, there is a writing in white big letters “Death Panel”. Below it, in smaller font, there is the name of the episode (“The Unwinding”) and the date of its release (March 30, 2023).

“The Unwinding”

“Death Panel”, a podcast about the political economy of health, presents an acute critical analysis of the dual news of the upcoming Medicaid Redetermination starting on April 1, 2023, and the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023. The hosts examine the fact of disbandment of…...

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Governor Cuomo announcing the executive order of NYS-Pause. We can read "Valve closed" and Pause is in the form of an acrostic: P for Policies, A for Assure, U for Uniform, S for Safety, E for Everyone.

New York State Pause Executive Order and Mathilda’s Law

On March 22 2020, with an exponential rate of new COVID cases in the New York State, Governor Cuomo signed two documents:   The executive order “New York State on PAUSE,” which contains a set of 10 rules for the general population, including closing all non-essential business and banning the…...

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An Instagram post showing a neon green negative of the zoomed-in side of a KN95 face mask on a black background. Slightly off center is light beige, all caps scripted gothic font that reads ‘FREE’ [end text]. Underneath of this is a ‘KN95’ printed label in all caps bold neon green, and below this is the word ‘MASKS’ in the previous all caps light beige font. In the bottom left corner is marigold yellow all caps scripted gothic font that reads, ‘NYC & LA’ [end text]. In the bottom right corner is the SiQ logo, with the capital letters S and Q in light beige, and the blood drop lowercase letter i in dark red. To the right of the picture, the text of the post says: “SiQ recently received a donation of KN95s from BonaFide Masks to redistribute within our communities. With Covid and other pathogens circulating rampantly, it's crucial to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep each other safe, especially when our governments repeatedly fail us with nonexistent mitigations or precautions in place. We must protect the millions of disabled and newly disabled populations. This affects marginalized communities of color, particularly Black and Indigenous communities, at a disproportionate level, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to safety and protection. It is a human right.”

SIQ’s Mask Distribution Initiative

Since the beginning of February 2023, a grassroot collective of disabled artists, activists, and advocates for justice “Sick in Quarters” (SiQ) have launched a community mask redistribution initiative. Anyone interested could sign up if they can hold a quantity of masks to give freely in their area. By the beginning…...

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Screenshot of website of the NYC Office of the Mayor with photo showing Mayor Adams making an announcement with several people behind him and a headline that reads "Mayor Adams Announces Plan to Provide Care for Individuals Suffering From Untreated Severe Mental Illness Across NYC."

Scapegoating Unhoused and “Mentally Ill” People 

Former police captain Eric Adams won the 2021 New York City mayoral election, in year two of the pandemic, with a “war on crime” campaign that has often manifested as a war on unhoused and mentally disabled people. Unhoused people had been forced into parks and streets as a result…...

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An animated, anthropomorphized mouse newscaster shown on a laptop, with a chiron that reads "New York is now the epicenter of the crisis."

2 Lizards Animated Series

2 Lizards, the brilliant eight-part series of short animations, captures the overwhelming sense of anxiety and isolation — as well as the occasional sense of shared community — that so many NYC residents experienced during the first few months of the pandemic when the city was the epicenter of the…...

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Screenshot of tweets from @JaiVirdi. Main tweet says: "I've been holding off on explaining what's going on, but I guess this is a good time. During my October surgery for endometriosis, the surgeons found an ovarian tumor & I've been diagnosed with cancer. The pain worsens every day. This second surgery was supposed to help." Quoted tweet says: "*in tears* What I was worrying would happen, happened: increasing covid hospitalizations forced the hospital to cancel my surgery. Will be suffering for a while longer, as there's no indication when surgery will be rescheduled. I'm just...hopeless. numb. I don't know."

Covid-19 Hospitalizations Lead to Surgical Delays

Disability historian and activist Jaipreet Virdi tweeted in January 2022 about the postponement of her surgery to remove a cancerous ovarian tumor as a result of a new wave of Covid-19 hospitalizations. Elective surgeries, and sometimes critical surgeries, have routinely been postponed in hospitals across the U.S. during the pandemic.…...

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Screenshot of YouTube video showing 6 people in conversation.

NYC Deaf Life During the Pandemic

How has life changed during this pandemic for New York City’s deaf community? When everyone wears face masks, how does that affect interactions? When is information fully accessible and how can communication be better? Are there signs that are new, or signs that have taken on new meaning? Are there…...

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Screenshot of NYC Department of Education website with a section entitled "More Special Education Support Will Be Available for Students with Disabilities" (full text available at link in post).

NYC Department of Education Academic Recovery Plan

On July 8, 2021 Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter discussed the Academic Recovery Plan on the NYC Department of Education (DOE) website. Acknowledging that disabled students had been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, the DOE plan included the following bullet points: We will launch afterschool and Saturday programs for students with IEPs to…...

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Screenshot of cover of report: "Spread Thin: Survey Reveals Students Without Special Education Instruction" featuring a child curled up in a box sucking their thumb.

Special Support Services Advocacy Group

Special Support Services, an advocacy group for disabled students and their families, conducted a survey of parents in 2020 about student educational experiences during the pandemic. Faced with a lack of data and information from the DOE, the advocacy group distributed a 42-question survey in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean and…...

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Screenshot of Chalkbeat article titled "How remote learning upended instruction for NYC students with disabilities and their families" featuring an image of a mother holding her son.

Chalkbeat Reports on Disabled NYC Students during Covid

Chalkbeat, a nonprofit education reporting platform that covers 8 U.S. cities, added Covid reporting to its ongoing series about learning differences and special education in the New York City schools. A June 17, 2020 article offers an overview of the ways “remote learning upended instruction for NYC students with disabilities…...

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Line graph of "New Positive Cases in DOE & Charter Schools (weekly)," separated by students and staff, from October 2021 to October 2022. The chart shows a major spike in cases in January 2022 (totally more than 65,000 cases total), and smaller spikes in May 2022 (peaking at just over 10k cases) and late September (peaking at just over 5k cases).

The People’s Dashboard by Press NYC

Parents for Responsible Equitable Safe Schools (PRESS NYC) is a parent collective founded in 2020, spanning NYC zip codes and cultures, to “hold the DOE, the Mayor, and the education press accountable.” Among their projects is The People’s Dashboard, reporting weekly Covid cases in the city as well as confirmed…...

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Multiple people laying on the sidewalk holding signs in front of the White House

#MillionsMissing: #MEAction Protests at White House

On September 19, 2022, the activist group #MEAction held a series of protests at and around the White House in Washington, DC, demanding that President Biden declare Long Covid and ME/CFS a national emergency with increased funding for medical education, research, and treatment. Despite knowing that participating in such an…...

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Screenshot of tweet from user @KirkCruz: "How about: LGBTQ+ folks mobilized & demanded help We didn’t sit around waiting for the government to get its shit together. We organized vaxx events at our *bars*, we told our friends, many abstained from sex while waiting to get vaxxed Just like we had to do in the 80s & 90s"

Queer Mobilizations To Counter Monkeypox

As fears of Monkeypox spread arose in the spring and summer of 2022—particularly in and around communities of men who have sex with men and their sexual partners—many were concerned about the possibility of yet another overlapping pandemic, especially one that might further stigmatize LGBTQ populations at a time when…...

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Screenshot of article from the Guardian, featuring illustration of a white woman looking away from the camera with collaged elements including images of pills, medical tests, and viruses.

Medical Gaslighting

In February 2022, Mike Mariana published an article in The Guardian about what he called “the great gaslighting.” Mariana, who lives with ME/CFS, describes the dismissal, “misdiagnosing and psychologizing” of Covid longhaulers as a form of “medical gaslighting” that can lead to “medical PTSD” as well as social stigma and…...

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Photo by People's CDC on May 29, 2022. May be an image of map and text that says 'More than 96% of US residents live in an area with subsantial or high COVID-19 transmission. People's CDC COVID-19 Transmission Levels MAY 26 source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fCous %ofPop. Moderate 16.52% 15.53% 61.27% 3.44% 5.28%'.

The People’s CDC

The People’s CDC was founded in 2022 in response to the CDC “creating the appearance that the pandemic is over.” According to the group’s website, which offers resources and weekly Covid transmission reports, “The People’s CDC is a coalition of public health practitioners, scientists, healthcare workers, educators, advocates and people…...

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Screenshot of "High-Risk Pandemic Stories: A Syllabus" on Disability Visibility website (full text available via link in post)

Alice Wong’s High-Risk Pandemic Stories: A Syllabus

A compilation of essays, interviews, and podcast episodes posted to the Disability Visibility Project site in 2020 and 2021. Compiling this material into a “syllabus” in January 2022, Wong writes, “Since March 2020 I have been collecting strands of disabled wisdom about the pandemic and trying to gather, weave, and…...

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Screenshot of letter from the NFB to President Biden (full text available via link in post)

NFB on Inaccessibility of At-Home Covid Tests

Throughout the pandemic, many forms of Covid testing have been inaccessible to blind people, from drive-through testing sites to home tests that rely on visual instructions and displays. Some apps, such as Be My Eyes (founded by visually-impaired inventor Hans Jørgen Wiberg) have allowed blind people to video-call sighted people for…...

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Screenshot of Imani Barbarin, a Black disabled activist, speaking at the camera on TikTok.

Covid-19 as a Mass Disabling Event

In December 2020, Imani Barbarin (responding to a TikTok by Ram Danielle on the long term effects of Covid) created a TikTok post (@crutches_and_spice) in which she powerfully stated, “I cant stress this to you all enough, but Covid-19 is a mass disabling event. People are becoming disabled because of…...

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Screenshot of article in Journal of Medical Ethics (full text available in link in post)

Racial Bias in Ventilator Triage Guidelines

Harald Schmidt, Dorothy Roberts, and Amaka Eneanya published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2021 (e-pub; print publication 2022) in response to the activation by many states of “Crisis Standards of Care” policies during the pandemic. Among other things, these policies guide the rationing of ventilators based…...

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A Facebook post by BCID saying : "We had a great event yesterday handing out KN95 masks and leaflets at Atlantic Terminal! We gave out all the masks we had with us and reminded people to #MaskUp on public transit.” With four thumbnails of the action.

Mask Up! Campaign

Even if it is still required by the MTA, the number of people wearing masks as they board the train, bus or paratransit vehicles dwindled in June 2022. Disabled activists from the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled took upon themselves meet the riders outside the Atlantic terminal station…...

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A tweet showing protestors in Albany, The texts from Kendra Scalia and Audrey Sasson read that 22 of them got arrested.

Fair Pay for Home Care

The pandemic has the existing hardships that afflict the home care workers, forcing them to leave to seek better paying jobs, causing a devastating shortage in home services which continues to grow. An alliance of senior, disability, and family care organizations as well as advocates formed and demanded that the…...

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A tweet from Rent Refusers Network showing a confrontation between activists, the SRG, NYPD, DSNY and DHS at the unhoused camp called "Anarchy Row." (Tweet accessible in post.)

Anarchy Row: NYC’s Management of the Unhoused

More images: In early April 2022, NYC’s administration engaged in a series of sweeps on unhoused encampments in the city in an effort to reduce homelessness in the city. The sweeps consist in dismantling the camps, dislodging people, and discarding their belongings and redirecting them in safe havens or stabilization…...

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Graphic on a mostly black background with yellow shapes that suggest warning through red and yellow. Text says: 'COMMIT TO LONG COVID JUSTICE. Pandemics are Chronic. Sign the pledge. Visit or follow the link in our bio to read the full pledge & sign. @LongCOVIDJustice.'

#LongCOVIDJustice: Pandemics Are Chronic

In March 2022, the National Network for Long COVID Justice was launched as a coalition of groups representing people with Long Covid and other chronic illnesses (including notable leadership of ME/CFS activists) to insist that governments and institutions take seriously the chronic aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The coalition released…...

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Screenshot of video featuring a Black woman speaking about her experience becoming sick with ME/CFS.

#MEAction’s “Stop. Rest. Pace.” Resources

From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), an illness often triggered by a viral infection (such as Epstein Barr virus), were among the first to raise alarms about the possible implications of post-viral illness following acute infections. As the pandemic progressed,…...

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A drawing of riders on the subway which serves as the cover of All riders, The letters of the title use the signs and colors of the symbols of subway lines.

Producing Political Documentaries During the Pandemic

During the pandemic, two documentaries were produced and launched by advocacy groups on the question of mobility of disabled people in New York City. NYC’s transit system is notorious for its inaccessibility as, out of over 400 subway stations, less than 30% are accessible—and many of which are only accessible…...

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Downstate New York ADAPT Activists in Washington, DC

Downstate New York ADAPT activists travelled to Washington, DC on May 9 and 10, 2022, protesting in front of the Capitol to demand accessible, affordable, and integrated housing. The group challenged the nursing home industry as high cost structures with poor and dangerous clinical outcomes, as well as isolation and…...

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Rebelwheels appear in a collage in which she breathes fire, with multicolor hair and wearing a horned French beret with the words "resisto", "power", "heart", "mouth", "soul", "love" pasted around her.

“Disabled In NYC : #MyCovidStory”

In her blog entry “Disabled In NYC : #MyCovidStory?,” Rebelwheels NYC aka Michelle Kaplan discusses her reality during COVID as a disabled person receiving services at home, losing her usual CDPA home aides over a lack of resources, and contracting COVID from the ones sent by a more traditional agency.…...

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A tweet from Maya Contreras, a democratic candidate, relaying videos of Dustin Jones during her campaign

Subway Inaccessibility in NYC

2)I also want you to meet Dustin Jones @EqualAccessNy2 President & Founder United For Equal Access NY Inc. He is one of my disability advisers on this campaign. Here he is talking about the lack of accessible transportation in New York City. (Part 1) — Maya Contreras (@mayatcontreras) July…...

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A community memorial featuring images and text attached to a tree, with a large pile of flowers placed at the base of the tree

In Memory of Lives Lost

This is a picture of an ad-hoc memorial to Christina Yuna Lee, outside of the Chrystie Street apartment building where she died. Her murder has been reported as both part of a rising tide of anti-Asian violence in New York City and part of the uniquely gendered violence that Asian women, in…...

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Social media statement with headline reading "BeyGOOD Supports Covid-19 Relief" in Black text on white background. White text on black background reads: "Communities of color are suffering by epic proportions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many families live in underserved areas with homes that make it harder to practice social distancing. Communities that were already lacking funds for education, health and housing are now faced with alarming infection rates and fatalities. And these communities lack access to testing and equitable healthcare. Beyonce's BeyGOOD is supporting organizations that are on the ground 24/7, including United Memorial Center, Bread of Life, Matthew 25 and others, to address these dire needs in some of the hardest hit areas, providing basic necessities, including food, water, cleaning supplies, medicines, face masks, and personal hygiene items. Void of these basic necessities, mental burdens are also accelerated. To address these needs BeyGOOD teams up with with Jack Dorsey's #startsmall to donate $6 million to local community-based organizations, UCLA and the National Alliance in Mental Illness (NAMI) in providing mental wellness services in Houston, New York, New Orleans and Detroit. These are unprecedented times and it will take our collective efforts to make a difference."

BeyGOOD Supports COVID-19 Relief

This is a public statement from Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s philanthropic organization BeyGOOD, supporting Covid-19 relief for communities of color in the United States. BeyGOOD announces their partnership with Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall to donate $6 million to local community-based organizations, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) providing mental wellness services…...

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Screenshot of Tweet by @SeeMiaRoll featuring a photo of Congresswoman Grace Meng appearing on MSNBC. Tweet reads: ". @Grace4NY , I am extremely disappointed in you recommending institutionalizing individuals with mental health disabilities to keep AA/PI safe on @MSNBC . I would be happy to chat with you about how this actually makes us less safe, particularly disabled AA/PI."

@SeeMiaRoll on Mental Disability and Anti-Asian Violence

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Queens) spoke to MSNBC on February 15, 2022 about the murders of Michelle Go and Christina Yuna Lee in the context of a 339% increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the past year. Commenting that more than 50% of the cases in New York involved…...

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a poster with yellow text on a black and white mottled background reads: Remote Access: A Crip Nightlife Gathering, Sunday March 22, 5-6 pm EST

Remote Access: A Crip Nightlife Gathering

Critical Design Lab threw the first in a series of Remote Access Crip Nightlife Gatherings over Zoom on March 22, 2020. The Remote Access website explains, “Disabled people have long used remote access as a method for organizing pleasure and kinship. We call forth our community for an afternoon and…...

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Words #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy on a Purple paper cut heart on pink background

#MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy (Jen White-Johnson remix)

On January 9, 2022, artist Jen White-Johnson created a cut paper heart design to amplify the hashtag #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy created by Imani Barbarin (discussed in another fieldnote). Johnson tweeted: “#MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy this hashtag needs to be plastered for all the world to see.” — Mara Mills

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Photograph of a painted mural by artist Chella Man, depicting illustrated hands spelling out the message "Black Disabled Trans Lives Matter" in American Sign Language. The letter "a" in the words "black," "disabled," and "trans" are all connected. The hands are colored using the colors of the trans and Pride flags (including black and brown).

Chella Man: Black Disabled Trans Lives Matter mural

Photograph of a painted mural by artist Chella Man, located at 112 Christopher Street in Manhattan, depicting illustrated hands spelling out the message “Black Disabled Trans Lives Matter” in American Sign Language. As Chella Man notes on his website: Prior to painting, I realized the identities “Black”, “Disabled”, and “Trans”…...

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A group of protestors stand on the sidewalk holding signs outside of MOCA

Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association Protests MOCA

Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association organized a picket line in September 2021 to protest against MOCA, which is accused of not representing the Chinatown community and “selling out” the community. Local residents, small businesses, and workers in Chinatown are severely hit by the pandemic, while gentrification worsens the living conditions…...

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Screenshot of Facebook post from CPC Open Door Senior Center showing collage of images of Chinese-American seniors engaging in various activities and celebrations (full post embedded)

CPC Open Door Senior Center 50th Anniversary

Established in 1972, Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Open Door Senior Center has become a community space for elderly Chinese immigrants in NYC for 50 years. Reuniting with friends, various performances, and delicious food are our way of celebrating this milestone. — Shuting Li

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Screenshot of a GoFundMe page for Crip Fund, with an image of a small bottle of hand sanitizer with an Ace of Cups tarot image as its label. The page shows that $56,925 was donated during the short fundraiser.

Crip Fund

Ninety-five percent of artists lost significant income during the pandemic, with performances and exhibitions cancelled and access to studio spaces restricted. A group of disabled and chronically ill artists organized Crip Fund in March 2020, pooling money and distributing food, medicine, and other aid to “immunocompromised and disabled people in need of in-home…...

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Linoleum block print of black and white sunflowers with yellow petals growing on either side of the words “Disabled people deserve to live” in dark green lettering.

Roan Boucher (AORTA): Disabled People Deserve to Live

From AORTA’s Instagram: Ableism has informed the US’s pandemic response since the beginning. Last week, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited the “encouraging” data that the majority of Covid deaths are in those with 4 or more pre-existing medical conditions. This statement and its phrasing lay bare what disabled people have…...

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Screenshot of tweet from @KateMcWilli that says: "We are all talking about how it feels to see ableds accommodating themselves with the the accessibility that we disabled people fight for every day, all because of #COVIDー19. Let's use the hashtag #AccessiblilityForAbleds when we talk about this. I want to hear your thoughts!"


On March 7, 2020, as North American cities began to respond to the pandemic with remote school and work options, Canadian disability activist Kate McWilliams created the hashtag #AccessibilityForAbleds. The pandemic revealed how easy it was to provide certain accommodations that disabled and chronically ill people had been demanding, unsuccessfully, for…...

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A young woman wheelchair user poses in front of a mural of outstretched wings, posing triumphantly with her hands in the air.

Samantha’s Second Vaccination

Samantha Myers photographed by Michelle Schwab two weeks after Samantha’s second vaccination, February 2021. Mural by Jeff Rose King on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village where Sam lives. — Faye Ginsburg

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A young man stands in a hard, hugging a rainbow umbrella

Ethan Jones’s Coming Out Ritual

Autistic activist Ethan Jones, age 26, photo by Maria Hodamarska (mother), taken June 2020. When the pandemic hit New York, the family moved to Deer Isle, Maine. While there, Ethan told us, that he had time to reflect and embrace what had been an emergent gay identity. On the last…...

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A prototype for a mural with the headline "Say Their Names" featuring a Black power fist with the infinity symbol and the words “Black Disabled Lives Matter” written down the wrist of the fist. There are images that spell out "BDLM" in ASL and a list of names of Black Disabled people killed by police.

Jen White Johnson: Black Disabled Lives Matter Mural Project

Artist, designer, educator, and activist Jen White Johnson created several designs for mural projects honoring Black disabled individuals who were killed by police, as she writes: Since sharing the details of this mural, many disability collectives have reached out to me asking how they can create this mural in their…...

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Five Black and brown men (from left to right: Vince, Jay, Tito, Pete and Var) sit in wheelchairs outside, all lined up in a straight horizontal line facing the camera. They wear T-shirts and sneakers and some wear baseball caps. They all look into the camera with serious expressions.

Fire Through Dry Grass

Jay (second from left) is Co-Director of an upcoming documentary, Fire Through Dry Grass, that is centered on a group of people living at Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island, a rehabilitation and nursing center in New York City. These men formed the Reality Poets, and are part of OPEN DOORS, a network of…...

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Screnshot of Twitter from Imani Barbarin saying: "Contrary to popular belief, @CDCDirector , disabled people aren’t just data points. Every life lost was loved by someone, someone’s community member, someone’s friend. How callous to say you’re encouraged by the prospect of their deaths. #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy"


On January 7, 2022 CDC director Rochelle Walensky made a remark on Good Morning America about deaths from the Omicron variant of Covid that provoked outrage in the disability community: “These are people who were unwell to begin with. And yes: really encouraging news in the context of Omicron.” In…...

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The black-and-white graphic features a silhouette of a person in profile holding a syringe in one hand. The silhouette has been mirrored both vertically and horizontally so that the figure appears in each corner of the graphic. Written above the figures in varying font sizes from top to bottom are “Stop Rationing Care,” “Stop Medical Apartheid,” “Vaccinate Now,” “Global Inoculation Against Viral Fascism,” “End Eugenics,” and at the bottom of the image “End Vaccine Hoarding.”

Brothers Sick: Pareidolia (Vaccinate Now)

Pareidolia (Vaccinate Now), one of the posters created by Brothers Sick (Ezra Benus and Noah Benus) during the pandemic, reminds that vaccination is urgent but not always straightforward. The Brothers Sick demand an end to medical rationing, the rationing of care, and vaccine hoarding on a global scale. Sussanne Pfeffer, director…...

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Share Your Stories & Materials

In addition to the ethnographic interviews and oral histories initiated by our team of faculty and graduate students, we are eager to be in dialogue with any members of the community who wish to have their experiences preserved. Our digital repository will be preserved and made accessible by the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, a part of NYU Special Collections, at New York University.

We invite you to share your experiences in one of the following ways: Testimonials, Images & Artifacts, and Interviews / Oral Histories.

Please note: due to size and scope considerations, not all materials will necessarily be included in the archive or website.