Disaster planning for people with disability matters. We perpetuate inequality with every step we don’t take, and risk entrenching disadvantage. And if you make things inclusive for people with disability, you tend to make it inclusive for large swathes of groups also at risk in emergencies, including older people, socially disconnected people and others. Many birds, one stone.
I have lived over 50 years with my lifelong disabilities. I thought my understanding of disability was fully formed and realistic. But I think that in the long run, what I will remember most vividly from this pandemic is the lessons I am learning about disabled people and their true place in American society.
After last summer’s bushfires, there are calls for a dedicated emergency hotline for people with disability
During times of crisis, critical information is often communicated visually, but in response to the experiences of Australians who are blind and low-vision in the Black Summer bushfires, Vision Australia is calling for a new emergency hotline to be established.
My GP told me to isolate a week or two before the lockdown, after the kind of conversation that I never want to have again. I was lucky: I already worked from home, and I had the financial resources to manage the increasingly expensive supplies. I knew that if I got COVID, it wouldn’t be good. My already fragile body would struggle with that extra load. I was so scared.
The Australian Government welcomes the COVID-19 report of the Disability Royal Commission. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen significant challenges in the way all Australians live our lives, however, the Government recognises the unique factors that need to be considered when managing the health care needs of people with disability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest challenge Australia’s aged care sector has faced. Those who have suffered the most have been the residents, their families and aged care staff. The report is the result of a hearing of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety into the impact of COVID-19 on aged care, which was held in Sydney from 10 to 13 August 2020.
“But the impact of the pandemic on many people with disability, especially those with high support needs, would have been significantly ameliorated if the Australian government had complied fully with the letter and spirit of its obligations under the [UN convention] from the very outset of the pandemic.”
The Disability Royal Commission’s issued a scathing report into how government agencies failed disabled Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings point to failures by government officials to consult with people with a disability in the early stages of the pandemic and to even consider what was needed to protect them from the virus. And that left people with disability feeling anxious and stressed, and forgotten by both governments and wider
The report makes 22 wide-ranging recommendations in light of evidence from people with disability, advocates, experts and government representatives during the Royal Commission’s fifth public hearing held in August. Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said it was clear that official lines of communication had failed between decision-makers and people with disability, leaving them feeling “forgotten and ignored”.
Many people experience hearing loss – from mild to disabling – but COVID-19 face masks are making communication even harder for people with hearing impairment
A survey conducted by the Health and Community Services Union of more than 900 Victorian disability workers found more than one in five of the state’s estimated 1400 disability homes are yet to enact COVID-safe plans.
There are two online training modules that have been designed to assist disability workers operating in, or working with people with disability, in high risk bushfire areas.
The modules include:
1. Bushfire safety for workers – For any person who works in, or travels through, high risk areas over summer to learn about the risks, what preparedness means and how to stay safe on the roads and survive.
2. Bushfire planning: How to support your clients – For any person working with clients or patients in their homes, supporting them to live independently. You will learn about different types of risk environments, your responsibility in helping your clients as well as questions to get the bushfire safety conversation going and tips on how to build the Bushfire Survival Plan to leave early.
Social isolation linked to COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond loneliness for some, into feeling lost and ‘dispensable’, Q+A hears
As the panel discussed social fragmentation, Ms Kayess agreed it could lead to loneliness and said those living with a disability were highly exposed to it. “That specific [physical] segregation is structurally embedded for people with disability, the way they’re segregated in education, the way they’re segregated in terms of residential care and services,” she said.
‘It hit me in the face’: Aussie disabilities advocate says reactions to coronavirus made her feel ‘dispensable’ to society
On an episode of the ABC’s Q&A dedicated to loneliness last night, Ms Kayess revealed she had a visceral reaction when she examined how COVID-19 patients were being triaged for treatment. “It was such a visceral reaction that I had. It was so in my face that I was dispensable … that my life wasn’t valued. And I was dispensable.
Coronavirus cases among National Disability Insurance Scheme participants have been made public for the first time. There are 129 active cases across the country, including 41 participants and 88 workers. Almost all of the cases are in Victoria.