Mask Exemptions for Some Disabled People

I see much concern expressed about people who are not wearing masks, but I do not see any acknowledgement that there are many people who are exempt, under California law, from having to wear a mask, due to either young age or various types of disabilities that preclude wearing a mask. There are, in fact, eight specific categories pertaining to people who are exempt. Information about these exemptions may be found at: cdph.ca.gov/guidance-for-the-use-of-face-coverings. Exemptions start on page 2.

I am one of those people with a disability that precludes wearing a face mask. Yet, no one seems to have been given this information, so I get a hassle about it wherever I go. Actually, people who hassle me about not wearing a mask are breaking the law. I have reached the point where I am simultaneously afraid to leave my apartment at all, and ready to file suit against any poor soul who thinks s/he is just doing their job and/or performing a public service to accost me about not wearing a mask.

Neither should be happening to me. I am already disabled. My options are already limited. And I can’t be the only disabled person out there who is suffering this kind of persecution. Furthermore, the Americans With Disabilities Act supersedes California law, requiring that accommodations be made so that I have access to any place open to the public, and to be able to fully participate in the same way as anyone else. Those are my legal rights. It’s time people become informed about it.

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