UnitingCare Australia is concerned about the risk COVID-19 presents for people with disability and wants to see governments, businesses and community services provide support to all people with disability in need of assistance.

We want to make sure that people with disability receive the essential supports and services they need during this time of uncertainty. To ensure this can occur, people with disability should have access to additional funding and services, more flexibility in NDIS plans and supplementary income support.

Steps should be taken to address the risk of increased violence, abuse or neglect of people with disability due to the current circumstances.

UnitingCare Australia is supportive of the statements that have been released by national peak organisations for people with disability, leading health and disability researchers, and National Disability Services and the ‘NDIS Unions’.

We have been closely following the announcements made to date and acknowledge the hard work going on behind the scenes to manage this pandemic.

As restrictions begin to ease, it is nonetheless critical that the Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability is properly implemented and that the Disability Reform Council delivers on its commitment to develop a NDIS workforce plan in light of the challenges arising from coronavirus.

UnitingCare Australia has advocated for:

  • People with disability and peak disability organisations to have input into the planning and responses to COVID-19
  • The inclusion of people with disability in all government responses to the pandemic
  • Clear and accessible information to be made available and effectively disseminated
  • People with disability to have equal access to health care
  • Access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for people with disability and the disability services sector
  • The inclusion of disability support services as essential services
  • Flexibility in NDIS participants’ plans and additional funding, where needed
  • An emergency plan for foreseeable workforce shortages, including the removal of temporary visa restrictions, to ensure people with disability can continue to receive essential supports and services that are safe and of high quality
  • Mental health support for people with disability and disability support workers
  • Financial support for disability service providers to ensure the disability services sector can continue to provide supports and services to people with disability now and into the future
  • The fast tracking of outstanding government payments

Our vision

People with disability in Australia deserve a decent life of choice and inclusion. A key principle of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to support the independence as well as the social and economic participation of people with disability.

The NDIS allows individuals and families to choose the supports and services they need to fully participate in society, potentially transforming the lives of people with disability.

It is imperative that the NDIS is fully funded, properly rolled-out and that no one is left behind in the process.

 

Check out UnitingCare Australia’s submission to the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into Market Readiness of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS):