Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for people with disability
This page contains links to updates about COVID-19 and resources for NDIS participants.
Here you will find information about coronavirus, what you can do to look after yourself, and the ways we are working with NDIS providers to make sure they understand what they need to do to make sure you get the support you need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This page contains the following information:
- Disability Information Helpline
- Frequently asked questions
- Accessible resources
- Participant fact sheets
- Updates and advice: Australian Government
- Link to NDIA information
- Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities
- Use trusted information sources
- How to make a complaint about a provider
Disability Information Helpline
If you have a question about COVID-19, or need help because things have changed, you can contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787. (If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.)
The helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of COVID-19, and can also assist families, carers, and support workers.
The helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST). It is not available on national public holidays.
You can call the helpline if:
- your support worker has not turned up
- your provider has stopped services
- it's hard for you to get food, groceries, medications or other essential items
- someone close to you has symptoms of coronavirus
- you are feeling really upset
- anything else is worrying you.
Information about the Disability Information Helpline is available in Auslan.
Frequently asked questions
Visit our webpage of frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and how it affects the NDIS services and supports you receive.
Easy read resources
The Australian Human Rights Commission has issued an Easy Read resource [PDF] that explains what your human rights are and why they are important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Government has produced these Easy Read resources about COVID-19:
- Wearing a mask
- Your emergency plan for COVID-19
- What is coronavirus?
- 5 things to do right now
- What you need to know
- Social distancing
- Staying at home
- Management and Operational Plan for People with Disability
- Jobkeeper Payment impacts on Disability Support Pension recipients
- JobKeeper Payment impacts on Carer Payment recipient
The Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) has produced these Easy Read resources:
- Staying safe from coronavirus
- Look after your mental health during coronavirus
- Staying at home during coronavirus
The Australian Government has produced Auslan resources about COVID-19:
- Information for people with disability and carers
- Looking after yourself
- Support for your situation
- Helping others
- Who else can you talk to?
- Links to other accessible resources
Participant fact sheets
We have written the following fact sheets for NDIS participants.
1. Our first COVID-19 NDIS participant information fact sheet explains:
- what to expect from your NDIS providers
- your rights, how to make a complaint about a provider
- what resources are available from the NDIA
- where to find more information and resources about COVID-19.
2. We have also written a fact sheet to explain what you can expect from your providers and workers during COVID-19. This includes some changes you might see in the way your supports and services are delivered during this time.
3. Our third participant fact sheet explains how you can expect your providers to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in a residential setting.
Braille copies of our NDIS participant fact sheets
If you are an NDIS participant who requires a Braille copy of any of our COVID-19 fact sheets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address. It will be posted to you using the ‘Mail for the blind’ postage service.
COVID-19 information pack for NDIS participants
We have created an information pack for NDIS participants, which combines, in a single resource, the guidance we issued to help inform and support people with disability during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Updates and advice: Australian Government
- Australian Government COVID-19 updates: Visit the Australian Government website for the latest news, updates and advice on COVID-19.
- COVID-19 advice for people with disability: The Australian Government Department of Health website has information about protecting yourself from COVID-19, managing your mental health, and getting access to important services like telehealth and prescription medications.
- Guidelines on the rights of people with disability in health and disability care during COVID-19: These guidelines from the Australian Human Rights Commission explain the human rights people with disability have, and how health care and disability workers can uphold these when providing support during the pandemic.
- COVIDSafe app: This app can help health officials quickly contact people exposed to COVID-19. You can download it from on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
- COVID-19 planning resource for people with disability: This planning guide helps you to get the facts about COVID-19 and make a plan for how you will manage the impact of this situation.
- COVID-19 testing for people with disability: The Department of Health has released a fact sheet for support workers and carers of people with disability. The fact sheet covers who should be tested, where testing can be done, and how to explain the testing process to a person with disability.
- Information for families of a person with intellectual disability: This Department of Health fact sheet contains information to support families of a person with intellectual of developmental disability during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Coronavirus Australia app: Download the official government ‘Coronavirus Australia’ app in the Apple App Store or Google Play. Or join the Australian Government’s WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.
- Department of Health updates: The Department of Health website has daily updates on COVID-19.
- Department of Health Coronavirus FAQs: The Department of Health has issued an information sheet that answers common questions about COVID-19.
- Other languages: The Department of Home Affairs has translated COVID-19 information into 36 languages.
Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities
- The Australian Government Department of Health has developed a collection of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and remote communities about COVID-19. This includes audio, video, posters, newsletters, infographics and a series of short videos, posters and guidance from the Communicable Diseases Network Australia.
- The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has a dedicated webpage with health alerts and links to COVID-19 resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The First People’s Disability Network’s website contains information, resources and videos to help protect yourself, Elders, family and the community from COVID-19 and keep safe.
Link to NDIA information
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has a dedicated webpage for NDIS participants about COVID-19. They have also developed a series of animations about how to get the funding and services you need during COVID-19.
On 3 September 2020, the NDIS Commission and the NDIA jointly issued an open letter to all Victorian participants, their families and carers. It explains what to expect from providers, how to protect yourself and others, and where to complain if you are unhappy with the quality or safety of your supports or services. An Easy Read version of the letter is available.
Use trusted information sources
There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19. Use trusted information sources only (such as Australian Government websites, the NDIA and the NDIS Commission). We only provide links to trusted products, services and information sources. Do not get tricked into a scam.
How to make a complaint about a provider
If you are unhappy with the quality or safety of your supports or services – whether or not these issues relate to COVID-19 – you can speak to us about your concerns. It is always okay to speak up.
If you are in New South Wales, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria or Tasmania, you can make a complaint to us by:
- Phoning: 1800 035 544 (free call from landlines) or TTY 133 677. Interpreters can be arranged.
- National Relay Service and ask for 1800 035 544.
- Completing a complaint contact form.
If you are in Western Australia, continue to contact HADSCO to make a complaint until 30 November 2020.