The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council (the Council) met by telepresence on 9 April 2020.
The focus of the meeting was on the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, in particular the effects of the response on people with disability.
The Council noted the coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant shift in the Council’s immediate priorities.
The Council was provided with updates from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission on how they are supporting more than 340,000 NDIS participants and the disability sector during this difficult time while continuing to deliver a world leading scheme.
The Council’s key focus during this time is to ensure people with disability and their carers remain safe and healthy, and continue to receive the supports and services that meet their daily living needs. The Council acknowledged that where necessary this has meant a change in the way that disability supports are provided in accordance with measures put in place by all governments to protect all Australians.
The Council acknowledged the anxiety and concern that many people with disability, their families and carers have about their safety, health and wellbeing during the pandemic, including that changes to supports for some people could add to that anxiety, particularly if changes are not undertaken with care and empathy. The Council thanks all of those organisations and front line disability support workers who are continuing to deliver much needed support for people with disability and their families during this difficult period.
The Council is also committed to working together to ensure the significant improvements that have been achieved by and for people with disability since the commencement of the NDIS in 2013 are not lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Council is committed to a strong, vibrant and innovative disability sector that can bounce back once the coronavirus pandemic ends and continue achieving greater independence, choice and control, and social and economic participation by people with disability.
For more information, read the DRC Communique 9 April .