Urgent action needed to support Victorian children and young people with disability during COVID-19 lockdowns
Media Statement 4 July 2020
Australia’s national representative body for children and young people with disability (CYDA) is calling for immediate action to make sure children and young people with disability and their families are being provided with clear communication and prompt access to supports and supplies as an additional 2 Victorian postcodes today join those already in lockdown and 9 public housing towers go into ‘hard lockdown’ immediately.
All emergency communication must be provided in plain English, Easy Read and Auslan, and translated into community languages. Information must be made accessible and widely available as soon as possible.
There is a critical need to ensure that children and young people with disability and their families can access the following:
- accessible testing with agreed supports for sensory needs, alternative communication and social stories
- access to technology to support equal access to telehealth
- priority access to personal protective equipment
- continuation of chronic care plans
Children and young people with disability and their families need urgent information on how to access essential supplies, how services will continue, what protections are being put into place, and what measures will make sure children and young people with disability and their families aren’t left stranded.
The Victorian Government needs to prioritise supports for children and young people with disability and their families, and other Victorians with particular vulnerabilities. The government should immediately stand up a phone-based proactive outreach program to check on their wellbeing, identify what supplies are needed, and to provide accessible and reliable information.
We urge all departments of the Victorian Government to work with community leaders and agencies to make sure that children and young people with disability and their families aren’t left behind as Victoria locks down.