Supporting people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccination – for disability support providers

This video is for disability providers and explains how you can support people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccination.



thank you


my name is Ricky Crema I work for the Council of intellectual disability

I'm here with Joanne Hewitt Joanne Hewitt is the CEO for achieve

Australia we're going to talk about covid-19 vaccination and how achieve has supported clients with disability to get vaccinated why is it important that providers continue to support covid-19 vaccination for their clients with disability

Well Ricky that's a great question because at the moment uh you know we know that covid-19 is much more prevalent in the community and at the same time many of the mandated restrictions have now been lifted but it's actually um more important than ever to ensure that people with disability and people around them are up to date with their vaccinations we know that people with disability are more vulnerable to underlying conditions and so therefore more vulnerable to the impacts of covid-19 and so keeping people up to date ensuring that people are are up to date ensuring that their supporters family members staff are up to date with their vaccines really important to keep people safe and well but also to avoid people having to continue to lock down and stay socially isolated how has achieve help clients with disability to be vaccinated one of the key ways is to actually make sure that people have the right information so to keep them up to date with um the you know what vaccines are available and where keep them up to date with things like what the efficacy and side effects of vaccines are make sure that they have access to vaccines via helping them to actually get there so in the early days of the the vaccine availability we set up some accessible clinics and actually help people to get to those clinics they were provided with transport we made sure that we also had mobile clinics so that people who couldn't go out for some reason were able to get their vaccination at home and we open those clinics up to families to friends and to staff members so that everyone around the person had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated so people have the right to choose whether they want to get vaccinated how did you balance promoting vaccination with the need to respect decisions made by clients absolutely people have the right to make their own decisions about things that impact them and in particular things that impact their health and well-being so what we did was make sure that people had the right information to make a really good informed choice and made sure that that information was in a range of formats that were accessible to to people with disability we also made sure that the people around them had that information as well so I think it was really ensuring that we were persistent in the message to people about the importance of vaccines with our staff They too had the right to choose because they have the right to choose what happens to their own health and their own bodies but you know most people actually decided to get the vaccine and I know now that the majority of our clients and all of our staff are vaccinated was your approach different for clients living in supported accommodation compared to those clients in private accommodation not really in some ways it was easier to support people in supported accommodation because our staff are there and and working with them on a day-to-day basis so it was easy to get the information out and easier also to get them to the right place or to bring the vaccine to them but we made sure that everyone that we support had that access to either the information or the vaccine whether or not they were in our supported accommodation or not so are there any other messages you would share with other providers who are trying to promote and support vaccination for people with disability

Ricky I think one of the the key things that I've certainly been promoting in my organization into the people that that I support and and their staff is that this is not just a health issue but it's also an issue about people's exclusion and isolation from the community the more people feel fearful or they're vulnerable to um to waves of covert the less they can go out and do the things they want to do go to work enjoy their access to the community be with their friends be with their family so really this is a social justice issue as much as it's a health issue and I think that message needs to be front and center in in everything we do that it really is about the rights of people with disability to be safe well and to be part of their Community absolutely those two


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