Jobs Australia participated in the Disability Sector Round Table Discussion on 15 September 2021.

The objectives of the discussion were to:

  • Engage in a future-focused and action-oriented conversation, with quick and interactive problem-solving.
  • Provide an opportunity to provide input and advise the government on requirements to help better promote and support the vaccination of NDIS participants and workers.
  • Build alignment and agreement on a path forward regarding shared goals to deliver vaccines across NDIS participants and workers as quickly as possible and promote uptake.

The participants included service providers, those living with a disability and various disabilities, and other peaks.

The takeout messages from the meeting are listed below:

  • There needs to be direct contact with NDIS participants but to also note the cohort extends way beyond NDIS.
  • Accessibility must be a priority noting the diverse accessibility needs.
  • Security guards, admin staff etc at the vaccination hubs need to be trained so they understand the challenges of people with a disability and can be more supportive and helpful.
  • Communications need to be continually evolving. There needs to be much better dialogue between federal and states and territories. Very hard for organisations to work through and digest all the state and federal information. Needs to be simplified.  Also note the information for states and territories in lockdown is very different to the rest of the country.  Customize the information so people and organisations are getting what they need for where they are located.
  • There needs to be a platform in addition to the weekly meetings where information can be shared between stakeholders.
  • There needs to be a 1800 number regarding vaccination for people with a disability that is accessible.
  • Messaging needs to be positive. The positive reasons for vaccination instead of all the negativity.  Use people who have been vaccinated to tell their story. Bust the myths etc.
  • More use of Social Media for myth-busting and getting the correct information out to people.
  • Use high-profile people like Dylan Alcott, Kurt Fearnley as well as some of the tremendous women that came out of Tokyo Paralympics as advocates.
  • Think about using nursing students to augment resources.
  • Focus needs to be on local coordination of workforce and efforts to reduce unnecessary duplication.
  • Use trusted community organisations – community centres, neighbourhood houses, libraries etc. They are deemed as safe places. Also, use trusted networks.
  • Expand the use of Disability Liaison Officers (DLO’s) being used in Victoria. They are working well.
  • Access to disability products and supplies remains an issue as well as in some jurisdiction’s food security.
  • Simplify the COVID-19 advise line and have a priority option for people with a disability. Wait times are too long.
  • GP’s and Pharmacists need to be used more and have a proactive relationship with people with a disability, especially around vaccines.
  • Allocate the known quiet times in the vaccination hubs for people with a disability and have all the supports in place.
  • Offer taxi fares, share ride support so people with a disability can get to the vaccine centres.

 

In addition, the following links that may be valuable:

COVID-19 vaccination – Disability Provider Alert 13 September 2021.

Dedicated web page for disability service providers on the Department of Health website.

Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine information for disability workers

COVID-19 vaccination – Disability provider kit

A recording of the webinar Getting your COVID-19 vaccine – information for people with intellectual disability

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/videos/getting-your-covid-19-vaccine-information-for-people-with-intellectual-disability.