Now Is The Time To Act On Pandemic Measures For People With Disability

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, PWDA has released its letter to the National Cabinet, with the ten vital points for action. PWDA say they 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.

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