This user-friendly guide identifies key disaster recovery stakeholders and outlines their roles and responsibilities. There are also useful tools, links and resources to help organisations navigate their recovery journey by exploring collaborative opportunities and contributing to local processes.
For many, getting access to a rapid antigen test has been a major challenge. But for those who are vision impaired, using at-home tests is near impossible.
Covid in Australia, every day is a game of figuring out who is least likely to kill me George Taleporos
And now we’ve had Omicron ripping through our nation, causing mayhem for disabled people who rely on others for daily assistance. January has been a nightmare – battling to get our hands on RATs and N95/P2 masks, rearranging shifts because staff have tested positive, and playing the “who hasn’t got Covid” shuffle.
If we don’t recognize and deliberately steer away from ableism in responding to Covid-19, the pandemic will never really end for people with disabilities. Instead of being a two or three year crisis to look back on, Covid could be a major setback for disability rights and justice, and result in a permanent loss of safety and mobility for people with disabilities.
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.
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.
People with disabilities are being left to sleep in their wheelchairs because support workers don’t have access to PPE and RATs
Under these current policy settings, experts say, Australians with disabilities are being left to fend for themselves, as workers with little to no workplace protection fall out of the workforce in droves.
Large swathes of the disability service sector have been forced into Covid isolation, leaving some clients without access to vital services, while a major provider has only been able to source seven rapid antigen tests for its entire workforce in one state.
Staff shortages in the disability sector in Australia have gone from bad to worse due to a dearth of rapid antigen test kits and long queues at COVID-19 PCR testing sites.
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.”
Reasonable and Necessary is usually a podcast series about making Sense of the NDIS , where each podcast episode aims to simplify the NDIS for participants, their families and anyone supporting NDIS participants to work their way through the system. This is a special series that focusses on how people with disability can live safely with COVID-19.
There has been a catastrophic failure globally to preserve the lives, health and rights of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has dramatically deepened pre-existing inequalities for people with disabilities.
Is the government so out of touch with the disability community that it did not realise there were barriers to vaccination, including anxiety and difficult behaviours that would require assistance? Our son weighs 110 kilograms and was not going to let anybody come at him with a needle. Following an intense search, we were lucky to find medical practitioners who could think outside the box, and with the support of Barwon Health’s Disability Support Unit, our son was vaccinated under anaesthetic in July.
The pandemic has brought with it different challenges for everyone. But for some Australians with a disability, it’s been a chance to find joy, independence and new passions.
Immoral and inexcusable’: how Australians in disability homes fell from the front of the vaccine queue
“We started to get calls saying, ‘When are these guys showing up’?” says Moody, who was until June the chief executive of a peak body for national disability insurance scheme providers. “It’s fair to say that was the cry from providers for the next three months after. ‘When are they coming?’ It was clear something … Continued