We believe that it is important for people with disability to be able to have equal access to information, services and support during the COVID-19 pandemic so people can be prepared and stay safe. It has been important during this time to make sure that decision makers and Governments know what people with disability need. We have been letting Government know about the barriers and solutions co-designed by people with disability so the systems, programs, information and approaches work for us.

Get the facts!

You can come here to get the latest facts about COVID-19. This information specifically relates to things effecting people with disability.

Latest News and Facts

The COVID-19 pandemic period has been a challenging time for most people, and there has been constantly changing information and advice. QDN has worked hard to make sure people have access to the latest information and advice that is most helpful for people with disability.

View the Covid-19 Easy Read Resources here

Check the Queensland Health Website for Up to date information

Check the Commonwealth Government Website for Up to date information

a person in a green shirt, holding sanitiser and about to put some one their hands.

COVID-19 Challenge:

“For people in lockdown, it has been hard not to see people face to face. The isolation has been hard. With COVID-19, it’s hard keeping in touch with family and people you know”

Make a plan

It is important to make a plan so you will be safe during an emergency. Find practical tools, resources and tips for developing your own COVID-19 preparedness plan.

Make a covid-19 plan

QDN are working to make sure you have the resources and tools to make a plan to keep yourself safe and well during this public health emergency.

We worked with the University of Sydney to co-design the COVID-19 Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Plan to provide people with practical tools, resources, and tips for people to develop their own individual plan and information to help people stay safe.

Find all the tools and resources here. 

We know that getting the healthcare you need during COVID-19 has been challenging too. QDN worked with Health Consumers Queensland co-designing with people with disability and families the Know your Rights: Getting the healthcare you need during COVID.

We encourage people to think about, talk about and write down a plan for how things will work for you and your support network during this time.

Where to go if you need help

COVID-19 National hotline for people with symptoms 1800 022 222

COVID-19 National hotline for non-medical information 1800 020 080

 

Four wooden blocks sitting on top of each other. The bottom one has a symbol of a smartphone, then the next one has an @ sign, then a envelope and the top one has a symbol of a telephone.

Queensland Health for health advice or information

13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)

For Queensland specific information and orders, visit the Queensland Health website. This will help you understand what the rules are that the Queensland Government is putting in place for Queensland, and what you need to do.

 

Four wooden blocks sitting on top of each other. The bottom one has a symbol of a smartphone, then the next one has an @ sign, then a envelope and the top one has a symbol of a telephone.

Department of Health - COVID-19 Disability Information Helpline

1800 643 787

The Australian Government Department of Health is providing the reliable updates and information on COVID-19.

Four wooden blocks sitting on top of each other. The bottom one has a symbol of a smartphone, then the next one has an @ sign, then a envelope and the top one has a symbol of a telephone.

Department of Social Services - Disability Information Helpline

1800 643 787

The Australian Government, Department of Social Services is providing a Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.

Four wooden blocks sitting on top of each other. The bottom one has a symbol of a smartphone, then the next one has an @ sign, then a envelope and the top one has a symbol of a telephone.

Community Recovery Hotline

1800 173 349

The hotline is for people who don’t have other options or support mechanisms in place and need to get essential food and medicines.

Call 1800 173 349

Four wooden blocks sitting on top of each other. The bottom one has a symbol of a smartphone, then the next one has an @ sign, then a envelope and the top one has a symbol of a telephone.

Red Cross hotline

1800 733 111

It is normal to feel stressed or confused during an unusual situation. Talking to people you trust can help including family, friends, support workers.

People in self-quarantine can call the Red Cross hotline on 1800 733 111 to receive over-the-phone psychosocial support and non-contact practical assistance.

 

Call 1800 733 111 

Four wooden blocks sitting on top of each other. The bottom one has a symbol of a smartphone, then the next one has an @ sign, then a envelope and the top one has a symbol of a telephone.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Help

1800 800 110

If you need to talk to a planner, make changes to your plan or are having trouble finding supports due to COVID-19

People in self-quarantine can call the Red Cross hotline on 1800 733 111 to receive over-the-phone psychosocial support and non-contact practical assistance.

Feedback from QDN Member on the Impacts of Covid-19

“The good things were people were getting more access to technology, as everyone else has said during the meeting. They were getting technology through NDIA; and we also got to learn how to communicate on Zoom.” “They also explained what our rights were – and what we could do.”

Projects

COVID-19 vaccinations - Level Three Supported Accommodation

QDN has been working with providers to provide information sessions to make sure that people with disability are provided with the information they need to know about the vaccine, the roll-out phases and the vaccination processes, and to provide support at the vaccination sessions.

GIVIT project

An issue that became urgent during the COVID-19 period was the need for people to have digital connection so they were not isolated and had access to information during periods of lockdown. The Department of Communities linked QDN with GIVIT to provide smartphones and devices to people with disability who were not participants in the NDIS. You can read more about this project here.

Hospital Discharge project

We worked with Queensland Health to support people with disability when they were discharged from hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. QDN’s independent information and guidance is helping Queensland Health advise people with disability, their carers and families about transition from hospital to safely live in the community.

Message for decision makers:

"Provide the IT hardware and the education to use it. Because with COVID-19, it was every man for themselves; trying to get hold of computers, web cams, microphones. All the stuff that’s needed to stay in touch. For anyone with intellectual disabilities or physical disabilities, you were basically at the bottom of the pack for trying to get hold of anything."

Stay connected

It is important to stay connected through the pandemic.

We want to hear from you during this time. We are working hard to make sure QDN is getting the best information and advocating on issues most important for people with disability. Your voice matters. You can stay connected with QDN by calling us on 1300 363 783 or email us at qdn@qdn.org.au

QDN Local Support Groups

Join your local Peer Support Group.  Our Peer Support Groups connect people with disability to get together and talk about the things that matter most. They are places for sharing lived experiences, exchanging information, and connecting with other people.

Groups are led by people with a disability who are part of the local community. They start discussions about things like navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), local activities and organisations to get involved with, and helping members achieve their goals.

Click here to read more about Peer Support Groups

Some ideas to stay connected include

  • speaking to someone you know at the same time each day (a check-in phone call)
  • using Facetime or other applications to speak with people
  • joining or starting a group with friends or family through social media (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp)
  • speaking with friends or neighbours over the fence or balcony
  • calling friends and family regularly
  • starting a movie or book club over the phone or computer
  • writing letters to people that you haven’t seen in a while
  • making video calls and texting friends and family

Covid Conversations

QDN, Health Consumers Queensland and Council on the Ageing Queensland hosted COVID Conversations for people with disability and their families on the vaccine.

We heard real-life impacts of getting COVID-19, stories about living in lockdown and about choosing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, drawing upon Victorian and Queensland experiences.

Speakers included a person with disability, a family member, disability support worker and Queensland Health representative.

a person in a green shirt, holding sanitiser and about to put some one their hands.

COVID Conversation 1

Testing and wearing masks – What do we need to know?

a person in a green shirt, holding sanitiser and about to put some one their hands.

COVID Conversation 2

Getting the healthcare you need during COVID-19: Get prepared and know your rights

a person in a green shirt, holding sanitiser and about to put some one their hands.

COVID Conversation 3

Testing and wearing masks – What do we need to know?

a person in a green shirt, holding sanitiser and about to put some one their hands.

COVID Conversation 4

Vaccinations - Issues and Recommendations

Q D N board member Sharon Boyce, in a blue dress, has short blonde hair and is smiling at the camera.

“I have found the information in the 'Know your rights' resource so helpful to me and my supporters in my current situation. As a person with disability who is currently in hospital and someone who was part of the co-design of these resources, the practical tips and information to help me navigate my way made such a difference. I had all my information together to bring with me and help my healthcare team understand about me and my needs”

Sharon Boyce, QDN member and Board Director