Submission to the Emergency Planning and Response Issues paper
8 July, 2020
The recent bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for a comprehensive approach to providing the right support to people with a disability as part of Emergency Planning and Response. These events have had a significant impact on people with intellectual disabilities including those with Down syndrome and highlight the need for work to be done to ensure that future emergency responses take into account the needs of people with disabilities.
Ellen Skladzien, CEO
Down Syndrome Australia has submitted a response to the Disability Royal Commission’s Emergency Planning and Response Issues paper. Our response focuses on issues relating to the experience of people with Down syndrome and their families during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the bushfires.
This submission highlights the significant issues people with intellectual disabilities have in accessing appropriate information, services and supports in times of crisis.
Information: One of the critical issues experienced by our members has been difficulty in accessing information. Families are seeking tailored information about the impact of the pandemic on people with Down syndrome.
Health: Concerns are expressed about whether or not people will be disadvantaged when it comes to access to limited health resources.
Mental health and support: For many people with intellectual disability, pre-existing feelings of loneliness or worry have been intensified due to the increased pressures of living in quarantine.
Read the full submission to find out more about these and other key concerns.