Kymberly Martin
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COAG: Ministers deliver update on disability & COVID-19

The future provision of telehealth and ongoing accessibility of the COVIDSafe app were among discussions with Commonwealth, state and territory disability ministers at a recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

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All ministers were committed to exploring the future provision of telehealth and building on flexible support arrangements, as well as strong support for the COVIDSafe app and ensuring ongoing accessibility of the app for people with disability.

It was acknowledged expediting safe hospital discharge for NDIS participants, with temporary and flexible provision of funding for assistive technology and home modifications, and the lessons learnt in responding to the pandemic, should be embedded into future practice. Advice from the NDIS Commission about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and how requests are prioritized, was also noted.

Ongoing monitoring of the workforce will be undertaken, along with measures to ensure that actions be taken if major workforce shortages were to arise. These include:

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  • Removing visa restrictions on internationals student working in the sector
  • Fast-tracking worker screening processes in jurisdictions
  • Online job matching tools to assist the disability sector to connect with job seekers
  • Developing new accessible online training programs to assist displaced workers to retrain for critical sectors, such as the care sector.

Government online resources for people with disability on coronavirus include:

National: australia.gov.au

Department of Health: www.health.gov.au

Department of Social Services: www.dss.gov.au/disabilityhelp

National Disability Insurance Agency: www.ndis.gov.au/coronavirus

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission: www.ndiscommission.gov.au/resources/coronavirus-covid-19-information

New South Wales: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

Victoria: www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Queensland: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/information-for/people-with-disability-and-carers

South Australia: www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

Western Australia: www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus

Tasmania: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/

Northern Territory: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

Australian Capital Territory: www.covid19.act.gov.au/

 

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