News

People with disability, and their organisations, across Australia are calling for urgent action, again, to keep us safe during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Over 70 national, state and territory disability organisations have come together to urge the National Cabinet to take the urgent action we need to keep people with disability free of the COVID-19 virus.

 

Today, we are releasing our letter to the National Cabinet, with the ten vital points for action. We are hearing more and more each day from people with disability who are being directly impacted by the virus, and the measures taken to deal with it.

 

Australians with disability represent some of the most excluded of all Australians in relation to the impacts of coronavirus. Our needs remain largely and are rarely if ever, mentioned in any press conference, media release or government conversation about coronavirus.

 

At the same time, many people with disability are particularly at risk from COVID-19, because of barriers that exist to our inclusion, and our need for ongoing support.

 

We are deeply concerned by the lack of specific and targeted measures from all levels of Australian Governments to proactively protect and support people with disability, their families, carers and support persons from the impact of COVID19.

We believe that each of the following list needs to be urgently addressed now, to safeguard the lives of people with disability.

  • Guarantee continuity of supports for all people with disability.
  • Expand criteria for COVID19 testing to include people with disability and their support persons.
  • Urgently improve information and communications to be inclusive of all people with disability.
  • Take measures to remove the barriers to adequate healthcare for people with disability.
  • Include recipients of the Disability Support Pension (DSP) in the Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight.
  • Urgently define what constitutes an ‘essential service’ for people with disability.
  • Ensure effective measures are in place to recognise and respond to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of people with disability.
  • Prevent discrimination of students with disability in the provision of education.
  • Ensure the human rights of people with disability in congregate settings are upheld.
  • Adequately resource Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) and Disability Representative Organisations (DROs) to enable support of, and advocacy for, people with disability.

Read the full open letter here.

Organisations endorsing the open letter:

First Peoples Disability Network

Women with Disabilities Australia

People with Disability Australia

National Ethnic Disability Alliance

Children and Young People with Disability Australia

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

Disability Advocacy Network Australia

Deaf Australia

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia

Deafblind Australia

Deafness Forum of Australia

Brain Injury Australia

Inclusion Australia

Blind Citizens Australia

Down Syndrome Australia

Physical Disability Australia

Every Australian Counts

Disability Resources Centre Advocacy

Ideas

Disability Justice Australia

Enhanced Lifestyles

National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum

Imagine More

Advocacy Western Australia

Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service

Melbourne East Disability Advocacy

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated

Family Advocacy

Grampians Disability Advocacy

Syndromes Without A Name

Advocacy Tasmania

Southwest Advocacy Association

Victorian Rural Advocacy Network

Assert 4 All

Colac Otway Region Advocacy Service

Disability Information and Advocacy Service

Gipplsland Disability Advocacy

Community Resource Unit

AED Legal Centre

ANTaR

Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health

People with Disabilities Western Australia

Association for Children with Disability Tasmania

Association for Children with a Disability Victoria

All Means All

Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education

Southern Disability Advocacy

Rights Information and Advocacy Centre

Regional Disability Advocacy Service

Youth Disability Advocacy Service

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia

Barwon Disability Resource Council

North East Citizen Advocacy

Julia Farr Youth

Leadership Plus

VALID

Women with Disabilities Victoria

Citizens Advocacy Perth West

Speakout Advocacy

Developmental Disability WA

Women with Disabilities ACT

Council for Intellectual Disability

Citizen Advocacy Sunbury

South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability

Parent to Parent Queensland

People with Disabilities ACT

Aspergers Victoria

Disability Advocacy and Complaints Service of South Australia

Disability Advocacy Victoria

More information:
El Gibbs
Director, Media and Communications, People with Disability Australia
0408 682 867
[email protected]