A new priority service launched this Monday in partnership with some of Australia’s biggest supermarkets to provide access to essential supplies for over 340,000 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants during COVID-19.
From this Monday NDIS participants are able to access priority home delivery services from retailers including Woolworths, Coles, IGA, Foodworks and Harris Farm to help ease the stress for those who are unable to do their shopping in their usual way.
NDIS participants will receive an individual code via SMS or email, which will give them access to the priority delivery offer. Upon completing an online shopping order, participants will be prompted to enter their code when choosing the home delivery option.
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert says, “Our priority during this period is doing what we can to support the immediate needs of NDIS participants, including through enabling priority home delivery of groceries and other basic essentials.
“The Priority Home Delivery Service will help hundreds of thousands of NDIS participants across the country access everyday items.”
Kathie Elliot, a spokesperson from Blind Citizens Australia says that providing access to grocery services is essential.
“There are many people with disability living independently in the community. Not everyone has a family member or support person who can do this for them. All people need to be able to access groceries independently.”
Geoff Rowe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aged and Disability Advocacy (ADA) Australia says that ADA also welcomes the Government response however he raised concerns about people being able to access the service.
“People with a disability are many and varied with differing needs and abilities. Therefore, having a wide range of options available to access groceries is really important.
“That said for some people with a disability going online and using remote access arrangements can be quite complex and difficult. A one size fits all approach isn’t going to work for everyone but for the cohort that it does assist it is a welcome move.”
Ms Elliot also agrees that support needs to be offered to those who cannot access online services.
Ms Elliot adds, “While this is a step in the right direction, this approach has a heavy reliance on someone’s ability to access technology and an internet connection. Not all people have access to this and consideration needs to be given to those who do not.”
Support also needs to be given to all people living with a disability, not just NDIS participants, says Mr Rowe.
“I’d certainly be calling on Government to take the lead in coming up with solutions that are targeting people who are vulnerable, and that is people with a disability, irrespective of whether they get an NDIS package or not.”
To provide support to vulnerable groups, including people with a disability and older Australians, a cohesive Government approach is needed, says Mr Rowe.
“The [frustration around the] COVID-19 response is that at a Federal level, you’ve got two areas of Government [Aged and Disability] working to try and respond to the needs of [the] two vulnerable groups.
“It would be nice to see the two of them working very closely together and coming up with single solutions rather than parallel solutions and not duplicating effort.”
You can learn more about COVID-19 and Disability Support by visiting our dedicated information page.
What challenges are you facing during COVID-19? Tell us in the comments below or send an email to [email protected].