Coronavirus (COVID-19) has bought huge change to everyone and has had a significant impact on the disability community. As the community works hard to follow government advice and best practice, we are also taking extra steps to protect our physical and mental health.

As we work through the coronavirus (COVID-19) landscape it’s important to continue practicing social, or as it is better phrased, physical distancing.

As the restrictions are being reviewed and gradually loosened, now is the right time to shift our mindset and actions from social distancing to physical distancing and highlight the differences.

This video was made in partnership with Get Skilled Access .

The difference between social and physical distancing

Physical distancing means keeping a 1.5 metre distance from other people when out shopping, exercising or just enjoying some time outside.

This will help ensure community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) is minimised.

During times of isolation due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it’s still important to stay socially connected, this can be virtually.

Make a plan in advance

As restrictions change around Australia and we return to a new normal, this normal will look different for everyone from a social, physical and mental health perspective.

For the disability community, this return will take even more planning and in some cases, it will be a slower return into this new way of life.

For people with a disability returning to work, employers could provide information about the workplace environment and any new practices they have implemented in the weeks before to coming back. This will enable planning and preparation for what the new environment will be like and help to reduce anxiety.

Start a conversation

Start a conversation and plan with friends, family, carers and employers.

Think about how the environments you will be starting to access again, including your workplace, home supports and group activities may need to be adapted.

For people who are blind or have low vision and rely on touch to navigate, touching surfaces like railings and lift buttons are a challenge so plan together with friends, carers and colleagues on how this will work to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

It is ok to start small.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for both your physical and mental well-being.

Mental health resources

If you are feeling the impact on your mental health and well-being. There is a range of resources available to help.

We have released new information packs on:

  • psychosocial disability – to help people with psychosocial disability and their carers get the most out of their NDIS plan during the pandemic.
  • mental health and well-being – to help you, your family and carers look after your mental health and well-being.

Information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) and mental health is available on the Department of Health website .

Additional resources:

This page current as of
1 July 2020
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