Ability360 is deeply concerned over the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s (USOPC) decision to deny Becca Meyers’ request to have her mother accompany her to Japan as her personal care attendant (PCA).
Ability360 strongly urges the USOPC to reconsider its decision to allow Meyers and other Team USA Paralympians to be accompanied by the PCA of their choosing at the upcoming 2020 Paralympics.
“While we appreciate the much-needed precautions related to COVID-19, we believe that this accommodation can be provided in a manner that supports Ms. Meyers’ needs as an athlete with disabilities and ensures the safety and well-being of others in attendance,” Ability360 President & CEO Chris Rodriguez said. “The USOPC’s decision, unfortunately, reflects a fundamental lack of appreciation and understanding for the relationship between a person with a disability and their PCA.”
In a statement to the Meyers family, the USOPC stated that one dedicated PCA will accompany the U.S. Paralympic swim team, consisting of 34 total athletes.
“While COVID poses health risks, so too, does traveling to a foreign country as a person with one or more disabilities, especially devoid of a PCA who is aware of the type of support needed,” said Scott Hogsett, a three-time Paralympian in Wheelchair Rugby. “Asking one PCA to assist 34 athletes is perhaps an even greater risk to health and safety. Moreover, it interferes with an athlete’s ability to focus and compete in the pinnacle of sports.”
For over 25 years, Ability360’s Home Care Services program has been providing nationally-recognized quality in-home care services to people with disabilities.
The Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center is a state-of-the-art facility that provides adaptive sports, recreation, aquatic, and fitness programs and is the home of numerous former and current Paralympic athletes.
For more information, visit www.ability360.org.
About Ability360:Ability360 continues a long-standing tradition of empowering programs for people with all disabilities. Ability360 offers and promotes programs to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The Independent Living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities. Ability360 is located at 5025 E. Washington St. Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034, www.ability360.org, 602-256-2245.
About The Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center: The Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center is a 45,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility located in Phoenix, Arizona. Owned and operated by Ability360, the Sports & Fitness Center offers a wide variety of amenities to help you achieve your health and fitness goals including a fitness center with wheelchair-accessible weight machines, an aquatic area equipped with lifts and elevators, accessible locker rooms, and more.