Disability Royal Commission calls for urgent action

Published:

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is calling on all Australian governments to ensure that responses to COVID-19 include dedicated strategies and take all necessary measures to protect and support people with disability.

The Royal Commission has issued a Statement of Concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability.

Emergency planning and responses of Australian governments should include a specific strategy to provide appropriate guidance, support and funding to meet the particular needs and requirements of people with disability.

The Royal Commission has heard directly from people with disability who are, like many in the broader community, very anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also heard that this anxiety is exacerbated by the feeling that they are being left behind or ignored in government and community responses.

People with disability, particularly First Nations people with disability, may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to increased risk of infection, higher number of co‑morbidities and because of underlying health conditions such as chronic diseases and respiratory illnesses.

The Royal Commission has heard from members of the community that people with disability:

  • continue to face barriers in accessing health care, including prevention, screening and treatment for COVID-19
  • are unable to access regular and vital medications and therapeutic services due to low supplies and restrictions in access
  • may not have access to mental health services at a time when the need for accessible and responsive mental health is heightened
  • are unable to easily access essential health supplies to keep themselves safe, such as personal protective equipment, hand sanitiser and sterilising equipment
  • are worried that discrimination or unconscious bias could impact their access to critical and lifesaving health care during this crisis.

The Royal Commission calls on the government to take all reasonable steps to ensure access to and the provision of appropriate health care to all persons with disability.

We are also very concerned about the wellbeing of people with disability living in closed residential facilities, such as group homes, prisons and mental health facilities.

We understand that measures to 'lockdown' facilities and/or restrict visiting are to reduce the risk of infection.

However such measures may have the unintended consequence of reduced formal oversight mechanisms (such as Community Visitor Schemes) and informal oversight provided by family, friends, supporters and advocates.
 
With the decrease of oversight comes an increase in the risk of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.  We encourage governments to implement all necessary measures to protect and support people with disability in residential settings during the pandemic.
 
We acknowledge the efforts made by all levels of government in Australia on new measures to ensure essential support is in place for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and workers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, these measures are specific to the NDIS and NDIS participants. Many people with disability do not use NDIS supports and will also need access to COVID-19 information and support outside the NDIS.

Australian governments should seek input from people with disability, leading disability experts and advocates in developing their dedicated strategy, and in particular, in its COVID-19 Coordination Commission initiative.

Now, as always, we want to hear from people who wish to provide information to the Royal Commission about violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability, including information with respect to the government and community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is within the terms of reference of the Royal Commission to investigate the extent to which people with disability have experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation as a consequence of any lack of coordinated action to address their particular needs in this time of crisis.

 
Australian Government Community Coronavirus COVID-19 Health & Wellness Political
Social:   

Australian Government :
Canberra ACT 2600, Australia Wide
02 6277 7111
Australian Government
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Queensland woman to face court on drug importation charges 09 April 2020 | The Australian Border Force (ABF) has summonsed a Queensland woman to appear in court next month on drug importation charges following the conclusion of a detailed investigation. More information...
Bridging the Distance - Sharing Our COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences 06 April 2020 | The National Museum of Australia in Canberra has launched a digital initiative to provide a national platform to record shared experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of an integrated community outreach... More information...
Disability Royal Commission calls for urgent action 26 March 2020 | The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability is calling on all Australian governments to ensure that responses to COVID-19 include dedicated strategies and take all... More information...
Track and share coronavirus (COVID-19) cases with this location-based news app 16 March 2020 | Knowing where coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are in your area is now easier with location-based news app, Snewpit, creating a dedicated "coronavirus" category. More information...
Disability Royal Commission suspends all public events 16 March 2020 | The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has suspended public hearings, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. More information...
Have your say on Indigenous opportunity 12 March 2020 | The Indigenous Affairs Committee in the Federal Parliament has launched a new survey seeking your feedback on ways to make employment and business ownership easier to access for Indigenous Australians. More information...
Memorial podcast series Trapped tells remarkable story of survival 04 March 2020 | The Australian War Memorial continues to explore innovative ways to tell the stories of Australia's wartime experience with the launch of Trapped, a new six-part podcast produced in conjunction with Melbourne... More information...
IHPA releases National Efficient Price and National Efficient Cost Determinations 2020–21 02 March 2020 | The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) today released the National Efficient Price and National Efficient Cost Determinations for the 2020–21 financial year. More information...
Report into the current state of immigration detention facilities 17 February 2020 | Today, the Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe published a report about his Office's activities in overseeing immigration detention during the first half of 2019. More information...
National Soils Advocate urges protection of Australia’s soil 05 December 2019 | Protecting, restoring and maintaining the health of Australia’s agricultural landscape has today been highlighted on the United Nations’ World Soil Day. More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service