The Disability Royal Commission held a hearing on the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic from Tuesday 18 to Friday 21st August, 2020.

You can read the Royal Commission’s official transcripts of the hearing and their issues paper about emergency planning and response on their website.

You can also check out our live twitter threads from Tuesday, WednesdayThursday and Friday.

If you’re not sure about some of the language being used, see if it’s in our general DRC Jargon Buster or the specific COVID-19 sub-page. Please feel free to contact us via email ( or Twitter if you’d like us to add a word or phrase to the list!

Some of the issues discussed at the hearing were:

  • The impact on people with disability, including First Nations people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and women with disabilities and the barriers and challenges they are facing
  • The response of the Commonwealth government and agencies to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as it relates to people with disability (noting the Royal Commission expects to examine the particular response of states and territories at a later time)
  • How some disability service providers have responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The question of how the impact of COVID-19 on people with disability has developed over the period since the Pandemic began
  • What should be done in the near, medium and long term to better protect people with disability from violence, abuse neglect and exploitation, and promote the inclusion of people with disability during the COVID-19 Pandemic

PWDA’s report on the experiences of people with disability during COVID-19

Australians with disability represent some of the most excluded of all Australians in relation to the impacts of 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.

Many people with disability have seen changes in our lives from the COVID-19 public health emergency. These have included:

  • increased expenses
  • changes to supports, including NDIS supports
  • changes to healthcare

Some of these changes have been good, with increased access to services online or on the phone, but many of the changes have had a negative impact on people with disability.

People with Disability Australia asked people with disability to tell us about their experiences 2 months in to the pandemic, and this report sets out those findings.