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Disability Royal Commission and COVID-19

The Royal Commission is deeply concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability. 

In February 2022, the Royal Commission issued a Statement of ongoing concern and media release in regard to the impact of the Omicron phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disability.

In March 2020, the Royal Commission released a Statement of Concern about the earlier impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the response to our Statement of Concern by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and the Disability Royal Commission’s reply to that letter.

Ministers Ruston, Robert and Hunt wrote to the Royal Commission and provided an outline of the steps they are taking in response to the pandemic and people with disability. The Royal Commission’s reply to the ministers is also available.

The Royal Commission completed two Public hearings reflecting the nature and urgency of the situation.

Public hearing 5 was held in August 2020 and is about the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Government supported 21 of the 22 recommendations made in the report on Public hearing 5.

Public hearing 12 was held in May 2021 and investigated the experiences of people with disability in the context of the Australian Government’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The Australian Government accepted 6 of the 7 recommendations made in the report on Public hearing 12.

About the Coronavirus

Coronavirus is an illness that has affected many people around the world.

Coronavirus is spreading quickly.

What are we doing about Coronavirus?

Our hearings are conducted in a COVID safe way, including utilising video conferencing.

Due to COVID restrictions, it is anticipated that most witnesses will appear by video. A small number of witnesses may attend in person to give their evidence, subject to relevant government advice.

Public hearings are livestreamed on the Royal Commission website.

Advice about Coronavirus

Find updates and further advice from official sources. Some of these are:

Government agencies

People with disability

First Nations people

Response to COVID-19 in community languages

Response to COVID-19 in Auslan