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People with disability are some of the most vulnerable people in Australia when it comes to coronavirus. Australian advocacy groups have been lobbying governments since mid-March for a targeted response to protect people with disability.
Despite a slow response, this work has now partly paid off. The Australian Government has come up with a plan to help manage health care for people with disability during coronavirus. The government released its plan on 18 April. The plan looks at particular issues that people with disability face, including:
Advocacy groups came together to write two joint media releases and a letter to the Prime Minster and all premiers. The letter was signed by 71 groups around Australia. As organisations representing people with disability and their families, they asked government to act on a list of things to help people with disability through this crisis.
They asked government to make sure:
The Australian Government’s new plan does address some of these actions, however, there are still some important areas that haven’t been included. For example, people on the DSP are still not eligible for the extra fortnightly payment that people on other payments are getting.
Advocacy groups will continue to check the Australian Government’s plan and response. As well as lobbying to make sure people with disability are considered in any new coronavirus plans.
For more information about the Australian Government’s new coronavirus plan for people with disability you can read our resource.
You can also read about the advocacy groups targeted action on the Disabled People’s Organisations Australia website.