Supporting people who are deaf and/ or find it hard hearing or speaking, or English is their second language



Auslan Services provide a suite of services for Deaf Australians, services include: 

  • Face to Face Interpreting– Auslan Interpreters attend your site and interpret in person. 
  • Video Remote Interpreting– Interpreters work from a remote location from anywhere in Australia and interpret over the internet 
  • Notetaking– Notetakers work with clients who are not able to take notes for themselves. 

National Relay Service (NRS) 

The NRS is useful if you’re patient is deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. The NRS provides support to communicate with family friends and services and helps to communicate over the phone, and most services are available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week: 

  • TTY users can phone 13 36 77 
  • Speak and Listen (speech-to-speech) users can phone 1300 555 727 
  • Internet relay users can connect to the NRS on 

Below is a list of resources to assist health providers to support, and improve the experience of health care for People with Intellectual Disability 

Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) 

General Practitioners (GPS) and medical specialists can access free interpreting services through TIS National 24 hours a day, every day of the year, when providing services that are: 

  • claimable under Medicare 
  • delivered in private practices 
  • provided to non-English speakers who are Australian citizens, permanent residents, Temporary Humanitarian Stay (subclass 449); Temporary Humanitarian Concern (subclass 786); Temporary Protection (subclass 785); and Safe Haven Enterprise (subclass 790) visa holders. 

If you are not registered with TIS National, visit the TIS National website to find out how to register. 

Information on how to access to Interpreting Service for Allied Health Professionals in the CESPHN region can be found here.  


Resources for health professionals

Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) have developed a range of resources for Health Professionals working with people with intellectual disability.

Please click here for further information.

Easy Read health Resources


Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) 

CID has developed a range of Easy Read health factsheets.

Yearly health checks 

Your right to good health care 

Types of health checks 

Caring for your teeth 

Chronic health plans 

Types of health services 

Looking after your health in lockdown 

Supporting people in group homes with a COVID outbreak 

What is happening in my home 

Wearing masks during Coronavirus

If you think you have Coronavirus

COVIDSafe Check in app video

The sheets have been co-designed with people with intellectual disability and were funded by the Australian Government Department of Health as part of the Primary Care Enhancement Program (PCEP).

To find more CID 'Easy Read' resources please click here for further information.

communication aids


Council for Intellectual Disability – My Health Matters Folder 
The My Health Matters folder is created to improve communication between people with intellectual disability and their healthcare providers. 

To see the video please click here, to order a folder please click here. 

MySigns is designed to help those who support people with intellectual disability to access healthcare by documenting a visual history of moods in a fast, easy way. 

Please click here for further information. 

Central Coast Local Health District – TOP 5 
People with disabilities can have difficulty communicating their needs. TOP 5 essential strategies or care tips can assist staff in supporting the client or patient during their everyday lives or during hospital admission. 

Please click here for further information. 

The Clear Communication People Ltd – The Hospital Communication Book 
Full of useful images and advice to help you communicate with people with a wide range of needs in hospital. 

Please click here for further information. 

Agency for Clinical Innovation – Say Less Show More 
The Say Less Show More (SLSM) initiative seeks to provide this support with a series of simple photo stories (visuals) that illustrate what will happen during a physical examination or blood test. 

Please click here for further information. 

Books Beyond Words
Books Beyond Words offer an accessible, evidence-based reasonable adjustment that can improve communication between health care professionals and patients with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Please click here for further information.

Key Word Sign (KWS) Australia  
Key Word Sign is the use of signs and natural gestures to support the communication and language development of children and adults with communication difficulties. 

Please click here for further information. 

Teach-back is a simple yet effective communication tool used to check understanding. 

Please click here for further information. 

Nepean Blue Mountains Health and DARE – My Health My Communication 
My Health My Communication is about working together to improve communication between health staff and people with intellectual disability, autism, acquired brain injury, and Down syndrome through updating current systems and providing resources, training, and advocacy. 
Please click here for further information. 

Developmental Disability WA (DDWA)
DDWA  is working to improve information and advice for people with developmental disability who have complex communication needs as well as for their familes and supporters.

Please click here for further information.


health passports


Admission2Discharge Together Folder  
The A2D Together folder can improve the hospital journey for people with a cognitive disability as well as assist in the provision of person centred care. 

Please click here for further information. 

Julian's Key – This is my Health Passport  
Julian's Key is a patient/carer controlled tool designed to improve communication and empower people with disability, their families and carers to be move involved in their healthcare. 

Please click here for further information. 


Health Screening, Monitoring and Education


Family Planning NSW – Just Checking 
Cervical, breast and bowel screening is important for everyone, however people with intellectual disability are not screened as often as they should be. 
Just Checking is a project funded by Cancer Institute NSW to help address this issue through training, resources and accessible information that has been co-designed by people with intellectual disability. 

Please click here for further information. 

Family Planning NSW – Productive and Sexual Health 
Family Planning NSW provide education and training for disability workers, family members and carers and the clinics are a safe place for people with disability to talk about intimate and sometimes difficult issues. 

Please click here for further information. 

NSW Health – Being a healthy woman – for women with intellectual disability 
This is a book to help women with intellectual disability learn more about their health. It also provides a list of resources on disability for women with intellectual disability, their family members, carers or health care professionals. It can be used as a teaching tool to help women with intellectual disability learn about their health. 

Please click here for further information. 

Inclusion Lab - Your Dental Health
A guide written for people with intellectual disability their families, carers and advocates that outlines how to look after their teeth and gums.

Please click here for further information.

Exercise and Sports Science Australia – Exercise Right – for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities 
Improved physical health, intellectual functioning, behaviour, affect and personality of children and adolescents with ID have all been associated with physical activity participation. 

Please click here for further information. 

Learn the Signs. Act Early. Milestone Monitoriing Tools
Learn the Signs. Act Early. milestone montioring tools help parents track their child's development. The monitoring tools start at the 6-8 week health check.

Please click here for further information.

Milestones Matter brochure
The Milestones Matter brochure helps parents keep track of their childs developmental milestones and has information on where to seek help early if parents have concerns about how their child is growing, developing or behaving.

Please click here for further information.

Families and Carers


Carers NSW 
Provides information, education and training, resources and referrals to support carers. 

Please click here for further information. 

Carer Gateway 
Carers can get a wide range of help – from counselling and peer support groups to respite care, home help and equipment. 

Please click here and here for further information. 

Disability Gateway
The Disability Gateway has information and services to help people with disability, their family friends and carers, to find the support they need in Australia.

Please click here for further information.

Siblings Australia 
Siblings Australia is committed to improving the support available for siblings of children and adults with chronic conditions including disability, chronic illness and mental health issues. 

Please click here for further information. 

Support for non-parent carers
Support for grandparents, legal guardians and other familiey members who provide full time care for a child.

Please click here for further information.

Communities and Justice
The NSW Government's vision for carers in NSW is that they are supported to participate fully in their own social and economic life.

Please click here for further information.

Raising Children - The Australian Parenting website provides fee, reliable, up-to-date and independent information to help families grow and thrive together.

To support your child with intellectual disability please click here for further information.

Reimagine Australia
Reimagine Australia's purpose is to ensure that children with disability and/or developmental delay, and their families, have every opportunity to reach their potential in life. Reimagine does this by supporting families and practitioners.

Please click here for further information.

Financial assistance/Payments and services


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Mental Health Supports


UNSW Sydney Departmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) 
Making health information accessible for people with an intellectual disability 
Easy read resources on mental health services can be found here 

Kids Help Line 
Kids Help Line provides kids and young people with professional, specialised counsellors, and can provide practical help and emotional support. 

Please click here for further information. 

Black Dog Institute – Healthy Mind 
Healthy Mind is an online tool designed to help people with Intellectual Disability (ID) to recognise and regulate their thoughts and feelings. 

Please click here for further information. 


Equitable Health Care


Article 25 Health
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health services that are gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation. 

Please click here for further information.  

Australian Human Rights Commission 

Please click here for further information. 

Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 
The Disability Inclusion Action Plan is the NSW Governments roadmap towards accessibility and inclusion for our people, customers, stakeholders and suppliers with disability. 

Please click here for further information. 

National Disability Strategy  
(now being updated and will be released late 2021- Australis Disability Strategy 2021-2031). 

Please click here for further information. 

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care 
A guide for people with cognitive impairment can be found here. 
Easy read – about healthcare rights for people with cognitive impairment can be found here. 

Special Olympics –  
Talk so Me: Treating People with Intellectual Disabilities with Respect Video. 


Violence against people with disability


People with disability have a higher risk of experiencing violence than people without disability 
People with disability can also experience more barriers to access support services 
Being aware of the issues people with disability experience can help to prevent further violence and increase safety. 

Please click here for further information. 

The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline 
The National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline (The Hotline), is a free, independent and confidential service for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disability. 

The Hotline works with callers to find appropriate ways of dealing with reports of abuse and neglect of people with disability. 

Please click here for further information. 



Disability Advocacy Finder
The Disability Advocacy Finder is a tool made available by the Department of Social Services (DSS) for the purposes of listing the contact details and locations of disability advocacy agencies.

Please click here for further information.

First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)
FPDN advocates for the needs of First Peoples with disability and their families.

Please click here for further information.

Council for Intellectual Disability (CID)
CID works to build a community that protects rights, includes everyone and supports people well.

Please click here for further information.

People with Disability Australia (PWDA)
PWDA is a national disability rights, advocacy and representative organisation that is made up of, led and governed by people with disability

Please click here for further information.

Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association (MDAA)
The MDAA of NSW is the peak body for all people in NSW with disability and their families and carers, with a particular focus on those from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) /non English Speaking (NES) background with disability.

Please click here for further information.

National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP)
The NDAP provides people with disability with access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights enabling community participation.

Please click here for further information.

Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO)
AFDO is  a cross-disability representative organisation, with members from national and state disability advocacy organisations run by and for people with disability and their families, representing Australians with disability.

Please click here for further information.

Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN)
PDCN are a systemic advocacy organisation that seeks to influence or secure positive long-term changes that remove barriers and address discriminatory practices to ensure the collective rights and interests of people with disability are upheld.

Please click here for further information.

Disability Advocacy (DA)
DA has two important ways it can help people with a disability and their families with the NDIS:
1. General Advocacy Support
2. External Merits Review Support of NDIS decisions (NDIS Appeals)

Please click here for further information.

Ethnic Communiity Services Co-operative - Ethnic People with Disability Program (EPDP)
EPDP offers individual advocacy services for people with disabilities, and support people with disability to build capacity to access opportunities and understand options, rights and responsibilities to make informed decisions.

Please click here for further information.

Clinical Information

NPS Medicinewise
NPS Medicinewise has a range of clinical information on how to manage and presribe to people with intellectual disability.

Please click here for further information.

Therapeutic Guidelines
Extensively revised Developmental Disability and Psychotropic guidelines are available.

Please click here for further information.

Surrey Place - Primary Care Guidelines - Free
The 2018 guidelines on the primary care of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) aim to help family physicians and other providers of primary care to make informed decisions with their patients with IDD and the patients caregivers.

Please click here for further information.


Central and Eastern Sydney – COVID-19 Webpage




Department of Health Disability Provider Alert – Information on Vaccination Clinics/Hubs

Department of Health Vaccination Clinics – 
Information on how people with disability can get their vaccine and book their appointment


for health professionals


Sydney and South Eastern Sydney Local Health Districts have established key roles to support people with disability who require COVID-19 support.   

Click here for further information 

Healthdirect Australia – COVID-19 Health Professionals Disability Advisory Service

Department of Health – National Coronavirus Helpline – 1800 020 080  

Department of Health – 
Information for primary health care services supporting people with disability

‘How can GPs assist people with intellectual disability during COVID-19?’ by Dr Aline Smith  

'Disability Management COVID-19: A GP view' by Dr G Nair-Smith




For People with Disability


Department of Health – Getting your COVID-19 vaccine-information for people with intellectual disability webinar recording 

Department of Health – (COVID-19) advice for people with disability

NSW Health – COVID-19 information for people with disability

Sydney Local Health District – Easy read COVID-19 Car testing advice sheet

Sydney Local Health District – Easy read COVID 19 Hospital testing advice sheet

Department of Social Services – Information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Council for Intellectual Disability – A range of easy read resources developed for people with intellectual disability  

Department of Health – National Relay Service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment 

Department of Home Affairs – Translating and Interpreting Service  

Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccination – Videos - Auslan 

Auslan – Contact to book an interpreter 

Expression Australia – Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates 

The Autism Educator – What is the Coronavirus? 

The Growing Space – Coronavirus/COVID19 Easy English Resource 

IDEAS – Supporting people with disability during the COVID-19 crisis 

Disability Advocacy Network – Coronavirus Resources for people with disability 

Australian Council of Social Service – COVID response advocacy and information from ACOSS members 

People with Disability Australia (PWD) – Information and resource hub 

The autism educator – Social story on the Coronavirus for PWD 

Beyond Blue – Resources regarding mental health 


For Disability Service Providers


Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccination – Disability service providers toolkit

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information pack for NDIS providers and workers 

NDIS – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and support 

Department of Health - Australian Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability 

Australian Human Rights Commission – Guidelines on the rights of people with disability in health and disability care during COVID-19 

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care – COVID 19 and Cognitive Impairment 

Department Of Health – Coronavirus app Apple Store or Google Play  

National Disability Insurance Scheme – Latest Advice from NDIS 

Disability Advocacy Network –- AdvoKit 

World Health Organisation – Disability considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak


community languages


Department of Health – Stakeholder Pack – Information on COVID-19 Vaccine Multicultural Outreach

Ethnolink – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Translated Resources

Victoria State Government – Translated resources – Coronavirus disease (COVID-29)

Refugee Council – COVID-19 Update for refugees and people seeking asylum

Australian Red Cross – How to prepare for coronavirus

Department of Health – Translated resources

Department of Health – COVID-19 vaccine information in your language

NSW Health – Community Languages

SBS – Multilingual Coronavirus Portal

Settlement Services International (SSI) – Support and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities


Telehealth and People with Disability


To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID -19 pandemic, the Commonwealth Government is expanding Medicare subsidised telehealth services for all Australians.

The commonwealth is also providing extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners. A factsheet is available via the Department of Health website

Telehealth is available to people with disability in the same way as it is available to all Australians.

When providing a service using telehealth, with agreement from the participant, providers can submit payment requests using the support line items that they would normally use to provide face to face services. This includes for assessments, reviews and participant education. Connecting with and helping participants.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


NSW Government Clinical Excellence Commission – Education, Training, posters and videos

Department of Health – Revised advised on non-inpatient care of people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, including use of PPE

Department of Health – PPE for the health workforce

Person Protective Equipment (PPE) – the National Medical Stockpile

If NDIS service providers or self-managing participants need access to PPE, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission factsheet is advising them to email the National Medical Stockpile at

The NDIS has advised that the Commonwealth Department of Health will be triaging requests. Providers will need to demonstrate:

  • They have not been able to source masks on the open market
  • Existing stocks have been depleted
  • Who will be using the masks
  • How masks will be prioritised and distributed to minimise transmission
  • How previous stockpile supplies (if applicable) have been used efficiently and effectively

Requests will be prioritised where:

  • The participants has confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19
  • Safe care cannot be provided without PPE; or
  • Where there is clinical need

PPE resources and free infection control training resources: