The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has issued a Statement of Concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability.
“The Royal Commission 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.
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.
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.
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.”