The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), on behalf of itself and four of its members, and CSL Plasma Inc., owner of seven plasma collection centers in Colorado, have resolved litigation regarding plasma donations by people with disabilities at CSL Plasma’s Colorado centers. CSL Plasma has committed to making its facilities more physically accessible and to eligibility policies that do not unnecessarily prohibit plasma donation by people with disabilities.
These commitments better align CSL Plasma’s collection operations with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) as well as the regulations issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other laws affecting its business. The end result is that more people with disabilities can donate plasma, the critical ingredient necessary to produce life-saving therapies for various rare diseases such as hemophilia and primary immune deficiencies.
“We are pleased that CSL Plasma has confirmed its commitments to accepting more plasma donations from people with disabilities,” said Julie Reiskin, CCDC Executive Director. “CCDC members with disabilities always step up to help others in need, so CSL Plasma’s policy commitments should greatly enhance their ability to provide plasma that will be used to treat individuals suffering from rare and serious diseases. We hope other plasma companies change their policies, practices and procedures to ensure that people with disabilities who want to help are better able to do so.”
Reskin added: “The compensation CSL Plasma pays for the time it takes to donate can be an important income supplement to people with disabilities, who remain among the lowest-income people in the country.”
CSL Plasma has already made or is in the process of making policy changes to:
- Permit individuals with schizophrenia or other mental illness that is sufficiently controlled by medication to donate, provided the medication does not affect the safety of the donor or the purity or potency of the therapies that will be made from plasma and, if necessary, obtain confirmation from their healthcare provided to donate;
- Permit service animals in its donation centers, consistent with the requirements of Title III of the ADA;
- Provide opportunities for individuals who cannot stand on a scale to be weighed (as required for plasma donation) to use wheelchair-accessible scales; and
- Provide reasonable modifications to assist individuals with disabilities to get on to donor beds.
“We are pleased to take these actions as they will enable more individuals with disabilities the opportunity to donate plasma,” said Wlenyeno Elliott-Browne, Division Director of Operations for CSL Plasma and responsible for the company’s Colorado donation centers. “All donors must meet U.S. FDA eligibility requirements, and we stand ready to continue to collect plasma at all of our Colorado centers. The urgency to donate plasma has never been greater and, as an essential business, we have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The CCDC Civil Rights Legal Program has been in existence since 1990. It is one of many programs operated by CCDC. The focus of the Legal Program is civil rights cases for people with disabilities exclusively. The Legal Program represents its members, people with disabilities and their friends, families and allies in the organization itself as well as other disability rights organizations. The Legal Program has brought hundreds of lawsuits and resolved other cases under the ADA, the CADA, the Fair Housing Amendments Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other laws related to the civil rights of people with disabilities. The Legal Program began in 1997 because CCDC could not find private attorneys who would bring these kinds of cases representing clients who do not have resources to hire lawyers and most of the Legal Program’s work has been against governmental entities and private places of public accommodation. Information about the cases the Legal Program has brought can be found on the CCDC website under the Programs tab for the Civil Rights Legal Program: Active Investigations, Open Cases and Completed Cases. For more information about CCDC, visit https://www.ccdconline.org/.
About CSL Plasma
CSL Plasma, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., upholds a tradition of innovation and customer focus. We are committed to our work because people's lives depend on us. CSL Plasma is a subsidiary of CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics company and a member of the CSL Group of companies. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL; USOTC:CSLLY), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 27,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 100 countries. For more information about CSL Plasma, please go to www.CSLPlasma.com.