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Emergency planning and response

  • Issues papers
Publication date

Australia is currently in the midst of an unprecedented emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic, following the summer bushfire crisis. People with disability can be severely affected by emergencies and may be at a higher risk of experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation at these times. The purpose of this Issues Paper is to invite information from the public on emergency planning and response.

The issues paper asks 11 questions to help people and organisations to provide responses. The paper is available in Easy Read, PDF and DOCX.

How to respond

Further responses to the Emergency planning and response Issues paper will be accepted until 31 October, 2020. After this date, any comments about this issues paper can be made via the submissions process.

Responses to the issues paper can be provided, either:

  • electronically to;
  • in writing to GPO Box 1422, Brisbane, Queensland 4001
  • by phone on 1800 517 199 or +61 7 3734 1900, we can make a time with you to take your response over the phone (Monday to Friday, excluding national public holidays)
  • by audio recording
  • by video recording.

Responses can be in any language. The Royal Commission will translate the response to English.

We may make your response public unless you tell us not to.

Issues paper (Auslan) - Emergency planning and response

Emergency planning and response issues paper

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released an Issues Paper.

We invite you to respond. Your response will help us in our work.

We are interested in understanding how emergency planning and response can include and support people with disability.

We want to know what should be done to prevent people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation during emergencies.

Key issues

We are concerned about people with disability being left behind during emergencies. This includes the current COVID-19 pandemic.

We are also concerned about how people with disability are treated during bushfires, droughts and floods.

This Issues Paper includes 10 key issues.

One issue is about accessible information.

Sometimes information and news in emergencies is not accessible to people with disability. For example it is not in plain English, or not captioned.

We want to know how governments and other agencies share information with people with disability and how this can be improved.

Another issue is about access to essential services.

Many people with disability need help with meals, toileting, showering and getting dressed.

People providing these supports should be properly trained in things like infection control. We want to know how services can be delivered safely during an emergency.

Another issue is about access to health care.

We have heard people with disability face barriers accessing medications, ambulances, and health supplies.

This includes personal protective equipment and sterilising equipment. We are interested in hearing about these experiences.

We have included other topics in this issues paper. These are food and nutrition, housing, education, income, domestic violence, safeguards in closed facilities and community participation.

Including people with disability in emergency planning

The United Nations says that including people with disabilities in all stages of emergency planning and response can help save lives.

We want to hear how people with disability are included, or should be included, in emergency planning and response.

Your response

At the end of our Issues Paper, there is a list of questions about these topics.

We invite you to respond. You do not have to answer every question.

You can respond in any way you like. This might be in writing or by a video recording.

To read the full Issues Paper, and for more details on how to respond, go to the Policy & research section on our website.