Disability Advocates Express Concern Over "Test Iowa" Accessibility

May 22, 2020

Now that the Governor just opened up Test Iowa for anyone who requests a test, there is concern not everyone can actually receive one. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with more on an issue faced by some in the disability community.

MOONWALK RADIO'S MIKE BROWN & J.J. STONE
Credit J.J. Stone/Facebook

You may know J.J. Stone as the producer of Siouxland Public Media’s Hip Hop Show Moonwalk Radio.

Stone also serves as a member of the Human Rights Commission and was appointed by former Governor Terry Branstad to the State Advisory Council for Brain Injuries.

Earlier this week, Stone took the assessment for Test Iowa and qualified for testing.  However, he couldn’t physically get tested.

“You can’t walk through.  Someone like myself, I have to use public transportation.  They’re not going to have the public bus drive through the testing center."

Stone doesn’t drive, after suffering a traumatic injury at the age of 18 months.

“I ran away from my mommy and my dad was pulling out of a driveway and accidently ran me over.”

“Being that young my brain was able to take over both sides. So, the right side of the brain is the side that runs everything and my left side of my brain is technically brain dead.”

“And, that is why I suffer from epilepsy because my brain does a lot." 

J.J. STONE
Credit J.J. Stone/Facebook

The Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland sent a letter to the State of Iowa on Wednesday expressing concern about accessibility of drive-thru Test Iowa sites.

Here’s Executive Director Don Dew.

“One of my major concerns is the fact that Test Iowa even thought it was billed as bringing more access to Iowa has shown to be non-accessible. “We are an after-thought.  We are not part of the planning.  You can see that here. There is no planning for people with disabilities.  We have a higher risk for COVID-19 and  should have been there right at the start.”

Dew says he is still waiting to hear back from the Governor or Iowa Department of Public Health.

DON DEW

“I have always lived by the phrase if you are not at the table, you could be on the menu, and that’s how I feel people with disabilities are being treated here.”

“As we go through this whole pandemic crisis we are not only on the menu because we can’t get tested.  No one knows how many people with disabilities are getting tested.  So, we are kind of in the dark.”

J.J. Stone gave up on Test Iowa.

“It violates the ADA.”

He reached out to his family doctor for testing instead.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to the Governor’s Office and Department of Public Health on this issue and didn't get a response.

The Test Iowa site in Sioux City closes tonight at 6 p.m. and then moves to Sioux Center. 

TEST IOWA SITE AT WITCC
Credit Siouxland Public Media