Join the fight to end violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability by engaging with the Disability Royal Commission.

Quick Escape


The Disability Royal Commission held a hearing on the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic from Tuesday 18th to Friday 21st August, 2020.

You can find a transcript, video with Auslan interpretation and various documents mentioned in the hearing on the DRC website.

You can check out our live Twitter commentary here: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

An extra hearing on Monday 17th of May, Hearing 12, looked into the Covid-19 vaccine rollout specifically for people who live and work in disability residential facilities. You can read a transcript of the hearing here.

You can check out our live Twitter commentary here. We also shared some preliminary results from our member survey about the vaccine rollout in that thread, and some quotes from our members in this mini-thread.

The Royal Commission has released the draft Commissioners’ Report of Public hearing 12: The experiences of people with disability, in the context of the Australian Government’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

If you’re not sure about some of the language being used in either hearing, see if it’s in our Jargon Buster.

Our ongoing blog series, Our Voice, includes several related posts:

We are not disposable – disability and the health system during COVID-19, by Vanamali Hermans

Challenge rejected! 5 isolation challenges of a COVID-19 high-risker, by Charlie Park

When the Government asked people to wear masks, there was no consideration given to those who are hard of hearing, by Charbel Zada

Welcome to my world, by Kate Hood

Supporting our support workers, by Claudia Forsberg

Where we stand on the experiences of people with disability during COVID-19

Australians with disability have been largely ignored in the government response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. At the same time, many of us are particularly at risk during COVID-19 due to:

  • pre-existing health conditions,
  • dependence on services deemed “non-essential” for abled people, barriers to social distancing,
  • sudden scarcity of essential products including PPE and certain medications, and
  • our need for ongoing supports and services.

Many people with disability have seen changes in our lives from the COVID-19 public health emergency. These have included:

  • increased expenses,
  • changes to essential supports, including NDIS supports, and
  • changes to healthcare.

Some of these changes have been good, with increased access to services online or on the phone, but many of the changes have had a negative impact on people with disability.

People with Disability Australia asked people with disability to tell us about their experiences two months into the pandemic, and our full report can be found here.