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Effects of COVID-19 on the Disability Community

The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic is presenting unimaginable challenges to our community & nation. We are all facing this pandemic, but there are additional challenges for those with disabilities. Youngcare recently surveyed a focus group of individuals, from a broad cross-section of the disability community, to present insight to the Royal Commission from the perspective of young people (aged 16-65) with high care needs (YPWHCN).

Summarised findings are below.

CLICK TO VIEW FULL REPORT

 

Respondents:

 

Key Findings:

“Lack of PPE meant I had to risk having support worker’s inches away from my face to help me shower properly, without face masks. I felt, and feel, vulnerable to infection this way.”

“A person with a disability is often disconnected from the media and social media. If someone does not update them on the restrictions, then this could have consequences.”

“The risk was to our health as we had to provide 24/7 care to a profoundly disabled 32-year-old male with behavioural issues.”

 

Major Findings:

   Isolation:

Became a necessary and enforced reality, exacerbating pre-existing feelings of loneliness and depression. An empathic, community approach should be taken in the future.

   PPE:

Presented an issue of life and death for young people with high care needs, their families and support workers. Vulnerable individuals need to be prioritised.

   Support Services:

Changed and increased stress, fatigue and injuries on family members and support workers.

   Information:

Came through channels that are inaccessible for young people with disabilities. Clear, precise information is hard to find.

   Access:

Was limited and panic buying had serious knock-on effects for people with disabilities. Initiatives for vulnerable people need to reflect their lifestyle.

 

The Youngcare team is working harder than ever to support those in our community; fundraising for them and advocating for their rights, and we ask that you do the same however you can. Your support is more vital than ever.

 

In the face of this adversity, we are choosing to fight.

Our work does not stop; our mission does not end.

 

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