The president of the peak disability advocacy organisation says people with a disability will be left behind as the NSW COVID-19 restrictions ease, but a Border disability sector executive says there's two sides to the issue.
People With Disability Australia president Samantha Connor said easing lockdown restrictions in NSW would risk the wellbeing of the disability community.
"People with disability are at greater risk of sickness and death if they get infected with COVID, but vaccination rates are still way too low for our community members to be protected now that the virus is being allowed to run free," she said. "The Victorian Government has recognised this and is to be commended by responding last week with $5 million of dedicated funding for vaccination programs specifically targeting people with disability.
"Other governments across Australia - and the NSW government in particular - also need to understand that putting at-risk people in further danger is unconscionable and must set vaccination targets and improve vaccination strategies for people with disability and their support workers to ensure people with disability can be safe."
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The Border's Social Plus Support Work chief executive Michael Thompson agreed restrictions easing in NSW was more risky for people with disabilities.
"I do agree that opening up quite quickly can open us up to some vulnerabilities," he said.
"But I think either way you're going to see risk. Either you open up too quickly and people catch COVID or we have increased mental ill-health due to continuous lockdowns.
"It's damned if you do and damned if you don't."
He said access to vaccination had been confusing for many in the community.
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