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Supports in the time of COVID

The continuation of supports remains one of the biggest challenges for the disability sector. Many providers are increasingly worried about how they are going to continue delivering essential services with so many of their employees unable to work. Meanwhile, people with disability are anxious about what will happen with their disability supports if they or their regular support worker test positive for COVID.

Disabled man unable to get Covid booster after Australian vaccine contractor prioritises aged care

“Last time around we were able to get a team to come out and do the vaccination at home where he’s obviously more comfortable,” Walker said. “I called [Aspen Medical] again this week, to ask them to do the booster.  “They were really lovely, very nice, but they said they’re trying to do all the nursing homes right now. So they can’t do him for another month or two.”

State seizes control of supported care homes over abuse, ‘uninhabitable conditions’

The Victorian government has seized control of two supported care homes in Melbourne’s outer north-west after an investigation revealed coercion and abuse of residents, uninhabitable living conditions, forgery of signatures and access to NDIS services being hindered. Sydenham Grace and Gracemanor (formerly Meadowbrook) supported residential services in Sydenham and Melton South, which house people with mental illness and disabilities, have been placed into administration.

Virus causes disability staffing shortages

Disability service workers urgently need more support from state and federal governments as COVID-19 has caused severe staffing shortages, according to union officials and the industry’s peak body.

NDIS recipients are being sued by their service providers

Joshua and Nicole’s case highlights a problem in the NDIS system where recipients of services end up taking on legal liability in the case of a dispute over payment.  Jo Evans, a senior solicitor in the Consumer Law team at Legal Aid NSW, says she’s more and more concerned about the number of cases she’s seeing of NDIS recipients being sued or facing action from debt collectors over unpaid invoices.

Experts call for a change of course on COVID, with urgent recommendations for care of people with disabilities

On 30 December, a senior psychiatrist tweeted out her frustration at mismanagement of the COVID pandemic in Australia using the “#LetItRip” hashtag.  “Australia is a failing nation state with no leadership, accountability, provision of basic services or public health. Any wonder we are disillusioned,” said Professor Louise Newman, a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Increased funding to uphold the rights of people with disability

“A $41.6 million funding boost will enable over 81 providers across Australia to continue offering advocacy as well as trauma-informed counselling to support the work of the Disability Royal Commission,” Minister Ruston said. 17 disability organisations would also share in more than $5.3 million from the Morrison Government to provide systemic advocacy under the Disability … Continued

People with disability ‘completely overlooked’ as Omicron surges

But Ms Gibbs feels those with disability have been forgotten by state and federal governments as Australia reopens. “I can take all the personal responsibility in the world but if I need to go and do an essential thing like go to the supermarket, other people’s actions have a direct impact on it,” she said. “We are being made to ask enormous, difficult decisions so that other people can go to the pub … and so other people don’t have to wear a mask.”