Disability Royal Commission calls for urgent action

31 March 2020

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. It is calling for all Australian governments to 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. It has has 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, the Royal Commission would like 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.

For more information about sharing your story, visit the Royal Commission into Violence,Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation website. You can read the media release about their statement and the Statement of Concern itself.

Information about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is on the Royal Commission website.