Resourcing has been provided to disability-focused organisations to create and disseminate targeted messaging to people with disability, their families, carers and supporters, including information about how to reduce social isolation. This includes the development and distribution of Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness tools to individuals with disability, helping them to make a personal plan that ensures their ongoing access to information, supports and supplies.
The Connect in Canberra website has disability-specific advice, resources and information and acts as an information portal not just for people with disability but for all members of the ACT community. It provides links to information and resourcing about issues such as health, family, employment support and community support, as well as links to information in accessible and Easy English formats, including an Easy English version of this strategy. The Commonwealth Department of Health also has dedicated easy read resources available at its website.
A disability-specific section of the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website has been created and provides planning tools to help you manage the full range of issues associated with the health emergency, and clear messaging for workers, carers and people with disability on how to protect yourself from the risk of transmission.
Community resilience is also supported by the COVID Connect wellbeing calls service, provided by the Australian Red Cross and available to all ACT residents. Register on the Red Cross website or call 6234 7630 between 8am and 4pm weekdays.
Auslan interpreters continue to interpret press conferences, and the accessibility of information is prioritised for all Government communications during the emergency. This includes making information available in multiple languages and multiple formats to ensure that as many people as possible are able to access the material they need. A series of Auslan videos on the COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan for People with Disability has also been uploaded to the front page of the Department of Health’s YouTube channel
Support for NDIS participants is available, with a dedicated webpage set up to provide information, support and the latest advice from the NDIA about the coronavirus. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission also has information for NDIS participants and providers to support service delivery.
The Office for Disability continues to work with a range of community groups and peak bodies to encourage them to provide COVID-19 information targeted to the needs of their clients and stakeholders, and that links to ACT and Commonwealth Government information about the supports and services that are available to them, including the INVOLVED website . This includes the Disability Reference Group, which will continue to advise government directly on ways to support people with disability during the crisis, bringing their experience, perspectives and links to the community to putting in place information and support measures.