Pandemic restrictions increased accessibility for people with disabilities

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- As many New Mexicans transitioned to a virtual world during the pandemic, many people found it beneficial.

Roel Adams, 35, was born with cerebral palsy. He relies on a machine to communicate.

"The pandemic has made things easier for me because I am getting paid to work at home, to program presentations on my communication device," Adams said. "Before, I couldn’t do them as I would have to work from the library, or go to an office to get paid."

Emma Farris, who also lives with cerebral palsy, can relate to Adams.

"Because of Zoom, I’m able to see my social work clients, all through Zoom, and I feel like I have more time to dedicate to my clients because I’m not having to factor in that extra time for waiting on a bus or things like that," she said.

Adams and Farris hope their needs aren’t forgotten as the state reopens.

"I would just want people moving forward to remember the virtual option and not just kind of throw it back in the back corner," Farris said.

Julia Weyandt, who lives with autism, said virtual options helped her feel more comfortable.

"Making new friends makes me feel happy," she said.

Being apart actually made it easier to get together.

"We’ve proven during this time that we have the technological ability to kind of bridge those gaps and bring people closer together," Farris said.