This webpage is here to provide women with disability in Australia with the necessary information resources to help them through the Coronavirus crisis.
What is it?
Coronavirus is a virus that started in China and spread to many countries around the world, including Australia. Coronavirus is also called COVID-19. That is the scientific name of the virus. The symptoms of the Coronavirus are similar to the flu.
Information and Resources
The World Health Organisation has announced that Coronavirus COVID-19 is a pandemic. As a result, there is a huge amount of information circulating about it. We have collated some below that you may find useful.
Information and Updates
Disability Information Helpline for people with disability
Want to talk about COVID-19 with someone who understands your needs? The Disability Information Helpline can help. For more information go to WWDA Latest news here: The Disability Information Helpline.
The Australian Government has released the COVIDSafe app. The app aims to quickly alert people when they have been in contact with someone who had contracted the Coronavirus (CODIV-19). For more information and to download the CODIVSafe app please visit the Australian Government website here.
The Council for Intellectual Disability’s (CID) Easy Read COVIDSafe app PDF.
We have collected a range of accessible and useful resources relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Go to WWDA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Useful Resources page here.
7 steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
- Cover your cough with the bend in your elbow or tissue
- Avoid crowded places
- Stay at home if you feel unwell – even with a slight fever & cough
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing – seek medical care early but call by phone first
- Stay aware of the latest information.
(The 7 steps above were provided by the World Health Organisation).
Issues for women with disability
To learn more about the current income support head to People With Disability Australia’s (PWDA) Income Support webpage.
Access to healthcare
As people are required to self-isolate more and more, many women with disability are worried about access to healthcare and medications.
The Federal Government’s recent expansion of TeleHealth services means that you can access doctors, nurses, specialist and allied health providers remotely if you are an Australian citizen. This means that you can talk to a medical practitioner, get scripts, medications and referrals over the phone or online.
If you require this service you should ask your doctor or medical practitioner about their Telehealth options.
Telehealth services will be available for free to anyone with a Medicare card until 30 September 2020.
Access to support workers and advocates
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, many women and girls with disability are concerned about whether they will have access to support workers and advocates. If you are concerned you should ask your regular support worker about the support you will recieve during COVID-19
You can also find NDIS registered services and support workers on the National Disability Insurance Scheme website .
Disability advocacy is work an individual, a group or an organisation does to stop a person with disability being treated badly, or to help a person with disability with any issues they may have.
You can find an advocate using the Australian Government Disability Advocacy Finder.
Domestic and family violence
Due to social distancing and self isolation requirements, women including children may be more susceptible to experiencing violence and abuse. Read the Royal Commission statement on COVID-19.
If you are in danger call 000.
If you are experiencing violence you can call 1800RESPECT for support, counselling and referral. Call 1800 737 732 or chat to someone online (external link).
For more information and useful resources on staying safe from violence visit the following websites:
Anxiety, Stress and Depression
If you are feeling more anxious or struggling to deal with the stress due to the current Coronavirus concerns there is support available.
Beyond Blue have created a great Fact Sheet on how to deal with your mental health and the coronavirus.
Beyond Blue also offers short term counselling and referrals Call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
If you are thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat to someone online (external link).
Social Isolation & Technology
To stay healthy and avoid the spread of the virus, many people are being asked to or choosing to self-isolate. While this is important, it also means it is now more important now than ever that we stay connected and reach our to others in our community.
If you are having issues with your internet or phone lines, help is available.
Vulnerable and at-risk residential consumers and small businesses can now access help from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman for issues relating to telephone or internet services. To find out how to access this help head to the website here: Prioritising complaints from vulnerable and at-risk residential consumers and small businesses.
There are great alternatives to catching up with family and friends when you are isolated at home. Here are instructions on how to use them:
Zoom (requires the internet):
- Zoom has a Youtube channel with helpful videos.
- Download WWDA’s Plain English document on how to use Zoom.
- How to use Zoom to include people with hearing impairments by BEC First-Deaf Second.
- How to use Zoom from a blindness perspective by Mosen Consulting.
Skype (requires the internet):
- Skype how-to-videos
- Skype Essentials for Mac video
- Skype for Windows Desktop video
- Skype has a Youtube channel with helpful videos.
Facetime (requires the internet):
- How to Use Facetime video.
- Apple Support has a Youtube channel with videos on how to use Facetime as well as other helpful features of Iphones.
Phone calls, text messages or send letters!
- Pick up the phone, send a text or, post a letter in the mail.
Join online groups or events!
- Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Community
- Disability and Chronic Illness COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse Australia
- Or join your local community group (search your suburb or town)
- Blind Citizens Happy Hour (keeping Australians who are blind or vision impaired connected during the COVID-19 pandemic)
Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is also posting important updates and media releases from the disability sector in the latest news section of our website.