Socialize With Us

Disability Matters: How Philanthropy Can Support Disability Healthcare Rights During Coronavirus

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 -
10:30am to 12:00pm PDT
Add to Calendar

The Coronavirus public health crisis is a moment when we need to be intentional in addressing the needs of disability communities. As funders, there is also the opportunity to be ahead of the curve on disability civil and human rights. In applying the principle of triage to our civil and human rights defense, disability healthcare that is free of discrimination presents as the clear priority. In addition to established disability healthcare legal protections, disability employment and special education provide critical laws, policies, and benefits that disabled people need maximum knowledge of, access to, and enforcement of.  The reality is that in response to the pandemic, the needs and experiences of the disabled, chronically ill, and aging communities may be overshadowed.  However, if we are intentional in addressing disability healthcare and disability rights the risk and hardships experienced by marginalized communities can be lessened.  This statewide briefing features 2 senior attorneys from leading California disability rights organizations, the head of WITH Foundation, a Bay Area-headquartered disability healthcare funder, and a healthcare organization, the UCSF Office of Developmental Primary Care.

Disability issues are embedded in all facets of everyday life and affect all communities with some impacted disproportionally. Every organization serving the public is serving people with disability-related needs. Disability healthcare professionals and disability rights attorneys have expertise on how existing medical efforts and disability civil rights laws/regulations should be shaping Coronavirus responses and public policies, and how allies should be building access into their rapidly developing remote services.  

This webinar will focus on the following topics and questions:

  •  An overview of federal and California state-level disability-related legal protections regarding healthcare, special education, employment, and institutionalization/in-home services.
  • What unique issues are disability healthcare professionals facing in response to Coronavirus?
  • How can funders ensure that disability healthcare professionals and disability rights legal experts are at the table in developing Coronavirus-related service and policy responses.
  • How we can help amplify the voices of disability healthcare professionals and disability rights legal experts as the crisis continues? 

This webinar discussion will: 

  • Educate funders on experience of disability healthcare professionals and disability rights legal safeguards;
  • Aid in coalition-building; and 
  • Identify what disability healthcare and advocacy organizations need in terms of capacity to protect millions of people - 1 in 4 Americans


Alice Y. Hom, Director of Equity and Social Justice, Northern California Grantmakers, Moderator

Alice is a community builder invested in bridging diverse and overlapping communities for social change. As the Director of Equity and Social Justice, Alice will focus on racial equity with an intersectional lens that brings multiple issues, communities, and sectors together to build on the common good. Before joining NCG, Alice was a Soros Equality Fellow where she created a podcast and a digital archive on activism by LGBTQ People of Color. Prior to that, Alice worked as the Director of the Queer Justice Fund at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

She serves on the boards of California Humanities and Borealis Philanthropy and on the Advisory Council for the Conscious Style Guide. Alice is a historian with a PhD from Claremont Graduate University, a MA from UCLA, and BA from Yale University. In her spare time, you can find Alice working on her podcast, Historically Queer, or enjoying the culinary delights of restaurants and bakeries with friends and family.

Alexis Alvarez, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid at Work
Alexis Alvarez advises and represents people with disabilities facing discrimination in employment and unequal access to government programs and services. Before joining Legal Aid at Work’s Disability Rights Program, she was a staff attorney with the Disability Rights Legal Center’s Cancer Legal Resource Center in Los Angeles, where she helped people tackle legal issues related to cancer.

Alexis clerked for Judges Robert L. Hess and Barbara M. Meiers of Los Angeles Superior Court and Judge Gilbert M. Román of the Colorado Court of Appeals. She is a founding member of the National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities.
Alexis received her J.D. in 2011 from the UC Davis School of Law and her B.S. with honors in 2007 from Colorado State University. During law school, Alexis was a senior articles editor for the UC Davis Law Review and served on the board of the La Raza Law Student Association.
Claudia Center, Legal Director, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

Formerly the Senior Staff Attorney in the Disability Rights Program of the national ACLU Foundation, DREDF Legal Director Claudia Center litigates cases that increase civil rights and civil liberties for persons with disabilities, and represents the disability community in legislative, amicus, and appellate work.

As director of the disability rights program at the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid At Work), Ms. Center founded the Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic at the Ed Roberts Campus, and played a key role in the passage of comprehensive amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act that successfully expanded protections for persons with disabilities in employment and housing. In addition, she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, a case that confirmed a broad scope of “reasonable accommodations” for disabled employees.

Claudia has served as an adjunct professor teaching disability rights law at Hastings College of the Law and at Berkeley Law. Following law school, Ms. Center was a staff attorney at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (now NARAL Pro-Choice America) in Washington, D.C. and was a recipient of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship in 1992. She attended Berkeley Law (J.D., 1991) and Wesleyan University (B.A., 1987). In 2009, she received the Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights from the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law (now the Commission on Disability Rights).

Ryan Easterly, Executive Director, WITH Foundation

Ryan Easterly is an experienced grantmaker, strategist, and advocate. He has worked in philanthropy for more than a decade. He’s held positions within the HSC Foundation and currently serves as Executive Director of the WITH Foundation, a private foundation that promotes comprehensive healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities in the United States.

Widely regarded as a visionary leader on the intersections of race, class, and disability, Ryan was appointed by President Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He now serves on a national council that promotes disability inclusion in philanthropy that is co-chaired by Ford Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

Dr. Clarissa Kripke, Director, UCSF Office of Developmental Primary Care 

Clarissa Kripke, MD, FAAFP is a Family Physician on the clinical faculty of the University of California San Francisco. She is Director of the Office of Developmental Primary Care whose mission is to build the capacity of the healthcare system to serve transition age youth and adults with developmental disabilities. She is the primary care physician for many of the Bay Area’s most medically fragile and behaviorally complex patients with developmental disabilities.

Target Audience 

This program is open to everyone. 

Presented by

Find More By

Event type 
Geographic Location