Information and referrals for people with disability and their supporters about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Disability Information Helpline
On this page:
- About the Helpline
- Coronavirus accessible resources
- Looking after yourself
- Support for your situation
- Helping others
- Other resources
The Disability Information Helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Helpline can help families, carers, support workers and services, too.
The Disability Information Helpline is free, private and fact-checked.
You can contact the Helpline in the following ways:
- Phone (free call): 1800 643 787
- If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.
The Helpline is available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 7pm (AEST). It’s not available on national public holidays.
When you call the Helpline, you will speak to a person who will:
- Listen carefully to you.
- Use their connections to find things out, check the facts, and get information for you.
- Transfer you to services that can help you.
- Transfer you to a phone counsellor for emotional support, if you would like.
- Give you clear and accessible information.
The Disability Information Helpline is funded by the Australian Government.
- Auslan – Information and support for people with disability and carers
- Coronavirus – What is it? - Easy Read
- Coronavirus – 5 things to do right now – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – What you need to know – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – FAQs – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – Social distancing – Easy Read
- Coronavirus – Staying at home – Easy Read
The latest information is available on the Australian Government website. This site is updated all the time.
If you still have questions or concerns, or if it is hard to get help with any places, contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787. They will try their best to help you. You are not alone.
Who else can you talk to?
Looking after yourself
If you feel unwell
Or you can contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
If you (or someone you know) are having a medical emergency, call 000. For example – if you are having trouble breathing.
If you have lost your job or business, or are worried about money
Things are changing quickly. The best place for the latest information is the Australian Government website.
They have information about:
- Government payments
- Getting a Centrelink payment
- Help for businesses and workers.
If you have a question about or need to apply for Centrelink payments, visit the Services Australia website for more information.
If you have other questions, contact the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.
Support for your situation
Feeling alone? Worried? Anxious?
Please contact the Disability Information Helpline if something is worrying you on 1800 643 787.
For example, contact the Helpline if:
- your support worker has not turned up
- your provider has stopped services
- it’s hard for you to get food, groceries, medications or other essential items
- someone close to you has symptoms of coronavirus
- you are feeling really upset
- anything else is worrying you.
Advocacy support is available
We can refer to you to an advocate in your area.
While face-to-face support is not available right now, advocates are still working and still available. Advocates are providing support over the phone and email.
Advocates support or work on behalf of a person with disability to help them to speak out and defend their rights and interests.
Counselling support is available
We can refer you to free, independent and confidential emotional support, if that is something you would like.
It’s available over the telephone and online. A video conference can be arranged where needed.
They can also refer people to longer term counsellors for ongoing support.
During this time, a lot of people will be worried. Many people will feel confused and alone.
You can help people with disability in the following ways:
- Tell people that the Disability Information Helpline can help them and give them the contact details.
- Share these Easy Read resources – as often as you can, to as many people as you can.
- Make sure people are getting the practical support they need, for example food, groceries, medications and other necessary items.
- Keep people informed about the latest official government information.
- Stay in contact with people.
- Tell people – they are not alone, and they can keep safe.
Links to other disability resources
Disability organisations across Australia have information and resources available to help you. Here are a few links to get you started.
- Disability Advocacy Network Australia
- Australian Federation of Disability Organisations
- People with Disability Australia
- First Peoples Disability Network Australia
- Council for Intellectual Disability website
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation