COVID-19 Hub

People with disability face unique challenges during this epidemic. We will be updating this section of our website regularly to collate information and resources as well as keeping you updated on our work advocating for the needs and rights of people with disability at all levels throughout the crisis.

General information

The latest information is available from the Department of Health, including in community languages. They also have an FAQ and a factsheet for care workers, plus four videos with captions:

More government advice is available at https://www.australia.gov.au and through a WhatsApp advice line at aus.gov.au/whatsapp

You can also find good general information on the Red Cross website.

EthnoLink have put together a library of multi-lingual resources with information in 18 languages so far and more to come. SBS now have information available in 63 languages.

Economic Justice Australia have created a factsheet about COVID-19 and Centrelink, as well as a step-by-step guide to applying (PDF). Find out more about income support changes.

AWAVA are collecting information about Family and Domestic Violence and COVID-19 through a gender lens.

Disability-focused information

There is now a Disability Information Helpline you can call on 1800 643 787 for all kinds of coronavirus-related help and information. It’s available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.

IDEAS run the helpline, and they also have information and links on their website as well as other resources.

Creaky Joints have information on how to access prescription medications and bulk-billed telehealth consultation services from home.

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) has worked with the University of Sydney to develop the COVID-19 Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness (PCEP) planning tool. It has practical tools and information to help you think through how to make a plan for your own individual needs and situation during COVID-19.

Asthma Australia have information for people with asthma.

Blind Citizens Australia have information for people with visual impairments, including handwashing advice.

Emerge Australia have information for people with ME/CFS.

Our DPO Australia partners have demographic-focused information:

Information about supermarkets and delivery has been moved to the Where to Get Help page.

We have created dedicated subpages for information about disability support services and income support issues. We’re also collating links to accessible resources.

Policy and Advocacy

PWDA along with 8 other disability peak bodies has released a COVID-19 Disability Plan with our initial recommendations about what people with disability need during this crisis. We are advocating for these measures in our meetings with government, and also continuing to discuss the emerging situation with the other peak groups to consider further additions. Please feel free to get in touch with us about specific measures you want us to advocate for.

We have also come together with over 70 national, state and territory disability organisations and released a letter to the National Cabinet with ten vital points for immediate action to keep people with disability safe in the pandemic. Read our media release on our website, where you can also download the letter, including in Plain English and Easy Read versions.

We have also joined with other disability organisations to call for an increase to the Disability Support Pension.

The Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health has recommendations for the disability and health sectors. Their latest update is March 24.

Alongside other disability peaks, we have commissioned eight internationally recognised independent experts in the area of human rights, bioethics and disability to write a Statement of Concern emphasising key human rights principles and standards that need to underpin ethical decision-making in the context of disability and the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read it here in multiple formats including Easy Read.

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is seeking information about the experiences of people with disability during recent emergencies in Australia. They’ve released an Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper and are asking for responses. Find out more on their website, including Auslan and Easy Read versions of the issues paper.