Family Advocacy COVID-19 update
The health and safety of our people with disability, the families we work with and our staff are of the utmost importance to us. In an effort to minimise risks we have postponed all our scheduled face to face workshops and information sessions until further notice. In some cases we will offer them through online platforms.
In response to the escalation of public health measures to slow down the spread of the virus, we have made the decision to continue our operations remotely. We foresee that this change to working practices will have no impact on advocacy supports and advice so we encourage to continue to contact us as needed.
Our team are now all working from home but we remain operating Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm and we can still be reached in our usual numbers: (02) 9869 0866 and 1800 620 588 (for NSW callers outside Sydney), email addresses and social media channels.
COVID-19 Information and Links
We have also put together the following information, links and resources which you might find useful:
Australian Government COVID-19 website
This government portal puts all the information around COVID-19 together in one place for all Australians. It also includes state and territory government links.
Department of Health
The Department of Health, guided by the National Cabinet, has also released a Management and Operational Plan for COVID-19 for People with Disability.
Who to contact
Call the Healthdirect helpline 1800 022 222 for 24 hour health advice. They can help you decide if you need to see a doctor.
For general information on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
If you have concerns about discrimination or other breaches of human rights you can lodge a complaint at the Human Rights Commission's website.
The Department of Social Services has set up a Disability Information Helpline, providing information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The Helpline can also help families, carers, support workers and services. This service is free, private and fact-checked, and you can contact it on 1800 643 787.
If you are experiencing any unfair treatment or disadvantage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can also contact us on 1800 620 588.
For translating or interpreting services call 131 450; if you have a hearing or speech impediment, call the National Relay Service on 1300 555 727
Information for people with disability
Resources for learning at home
The Australian Coalition of Inclusive Education (ACIE), of which Family Advocacy is a member, has developed a resource to help parents support their children while schools are pupil free or closed in these uncertain times. The Learning at home during a time of crisis resource aims to assist children and young people with disability and families to organise and plan for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NSW Department of Education also has a Learning from Home area in their website, including advice for parents and carers.
Disability Royal Commission
Whilst the Disability Royal Commission has suspended all public hearings and face to face meetings indefinitely to protect the spread of COVID-19 to people with disability, their work still continues; including publishing the Issues Papers, preparing for future hearings and receiving submissions. We can provide you with support and guidance in liaising with the commission - visit our Royal Commission page for more information.
The Commission is also deeply concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability and has issued a Statement of Concern.
Family Advocacy Webinars
These webinars from our Advocacy Tools and Latest News series have useful information related to COVID-19.