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The Disability Royal Commission has announced a public hearing for people to talk about their experiences during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Commission wants to hear from people with disability, peak advocacy groups, public health and disability experts, as well as government representatives.
The public hearing will look at whether governments around Australia were prepared for the pandemic. It will also look at how well they responded to prevent violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. The Commission hopes to uncover any issues that have come out, or been made worse by, the coronavirus.
In preparation for this hearing, the Commission released an issues paper in April about Emergency Planning and Response. The issues paper explored how people with disability can be affected by emergency situations such as coronavirus. The issues paper asked people with disability, their families, advocates and experts about their experiences. It also asked what could be done to make things better.
So far, responses have included making information more accessible, better access to services and supports, and the impacts of restrictions on people with disability.
The hearing is due to take place in Sydney during the week beginning 17 August. Due to coronavirus it will only be open to the public online. People won't be allowed to attend in person.
It will be livestreamed on the Royal Commission website and will have live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters.