Pandemic "Disability Cons"

Doron Dorfman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Disability rights law has made issues of access and accommodations much more visible in American life. Yet a byproduct of the increased awareness of disability rights has been "fear of the disability con," that is, the common apprehension that people are abusing the law to gain an unfair advantage. Many times, this moral panic creates an invisible, oft-overlooked barrier for people with disabilities who desire to utilize their rights. They either are refused the right altogether or give up asking for it in the first place because they are afraid of being accused of being fakers. This Article shows how fear of the disability con surfaced along the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. It describes the schism between the ways in which people with disabilities generally fared under the pandemic and some popular perceptions regarding the "privileges" they allegedly received because of their protected legal status. Those so-called privileges include mask exemptions, vaccination priority, and permission to continue remote work. The Article concludes with lessons the COVID-19 pandemic experience can teach us about the nature and scope of the fear of the disability con.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-409
Number of pages9
JournalMedicolegal news
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Disability
  • Fraud
  • Mask Exemptions
  • Remote Work
  • Vaccine Allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Pandemic "Disability Cons"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this