21 March 2020

Life Without Barriers Chief Executive Claire Robbs said, “We, together with the people we support, other disability service organisations and advocates have been speaking to government about the need for a plan to ensure that people with disability continue to receive essential supports through this unprecedented crisis, and we welcome the measures the government has announced today.

“Some people with disability have vulnerable health needs which may place them at greater risk of the effects of coronavirus; and many people receive services which involve person to person contact, which places them and staff at further risk.”

Ms Robbs said she welcomed measures announced today to extend participant plans by up to two years and particularly acknowledges the work underway with state and territory authorities to reach out to people who are at high risk and ensure they receive the ongoing supports they need. Life Without Barriers also is encouraged by the support for disability service providers, which are working hard to meet the challenges involved in supporting staff and to ensure service continuity for the people we support.

“Life Without Barriers is clear about our priorities as we navigate this uncharted environment. Our key priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of the people we support, our carers and our staff. We cannot do this alone, so we are pleased the government has announced this range of measures today.

“We have activated our National Emergency Response Plan and asked staff to cease any work that is not an immediate priority so that we can redirect our resources to our client services teams, where they are needed most.

“We are implementing precautionary measures informed by the latest public health information; have ceased non-essential visits to our higher risk services such as our Supported Independent Living facilities and we are supporting our staff to vigilantly practice good hygiene, use personal protective equipment and to seek medical help and not attend work and immediately if they are unwell.

“We want to assure the people we support and their families that we are doing our utmost to support them through this crisis.”

Life Without Barriers acknowledges the government’s commitment to make further changes as required. With our sector partners, we will continue to work with government agencies to meet the challenges we face.

Read an Easy English version of Covid-19 information prepared by the NDIA

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