Coronavirus (COVID-19) Amaze Community Information Hub

We know that this is a challenging time for many in our community. This page provides helpful Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, resources and websites that are related to autism and disability.

For more COVID-19 updates and information, please subscribe to our newsletters or follow Amaze on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


COVID-19 vaccination

These resources and links provide information on who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, accessing appointments and information on how you can prepare.

Amaze resources

Patient profile – For my COVID-19 vaccination appointment (DOCX) – NEW
Amaze has developed a patient profile template to assist vaccination clinics pre-plan with appointments with autistic patients. It contains examples of information that may be useful for health professionals to support autistic patients have a positive experience. There is also information for autistic patients to prepare before their appointment, such as medical history, where patients may need more time to process the information and respond.

COVID-19 vaccination appointment day checklist (PDF) – NEW
These checklists are to help you plan and attend your  vaccination appointment. You can bring these with you on the day of your appointment. They cover different places where you can get vaccinated. You can add your own steps to the checklist.

COVID-19 vaccination appointment planning checklist (PDF) – NEW
These checklists are to help you book, plan, and attend your vaccination appointment.

Supporting autistic people to get a COVID-19 vaccination — A guide for health professionals (PDF)
Information sheet that provides a range of strategies and supports that health care professionals can use to support autistic patients to receive quality health care and have a positive experience with health care providers.

COVID-19 vaccination accommodations for autistic people (PDF)
Victorian Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) can provide assistance to people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccinations at Victorian vaccination centers. To enable DLOs to support you, you can discuss specific accommodations that can help make the vaccination process easier.

COVID-19 vaccination social scripts — Amaze (Webpage)
Our social scripts help people to prepare themselves for their vaccination and reduce anxiety by explaining the process with plain English and images.

Creating a social script to explain the COVID-19 vaccination process (PDF)
A social script can help autistic people to prepare for a new situation by providing predictable information in a format that’s easy for them to process. This information sheet provides guidance on how health professionals can create their own social script.

Training: Supporting autistic people to get a COVID-19 vaccination
Amaze is providing training for health professionals supporting autistic people through the vaccination process.

Bookings via Eventbrite: Thursday, 27 January 2022, 10am — 12pm

 

Needle phobia

Needle phobia is categorised as a persistent anxiety and fear around medical procedures that involve needles or injections. For those that experience needle phobia, medical treatments such as a vaccination or a blood test can be a very stressful experience. It’s important to remember that needle phobia is real and there is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. There are many strategies and resources available to help you.

Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre – Needle phobia
This is a helpful resource on needle phobia, including some short-term strategies. There are some tips for supporting autistic people who have a needle phobia.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust information sheet — Overcoming your needle phobia (fear of needles)
This information sheet explains needle phobia and provides practical advice and strategies that may help. (Please note: This is a UK resource and the contacts listed are not available in Australia) 

Amaze — COVID-19 vaccination social scripts
Social scripts can reduce anxiety about getting a COVID-19 vaccination by describing what to expect through each stage and transition of the appointment.

Need more advice about needle phobia? Contact Autism Connect.
Autism Connect is a free, national autism helpline, providing independent and expert information over phone, email and webchat. Advisors can provide advice around strategies to help you with needle phobia, as well as tips on how you can prepare for your vaccination appointment. Call 1300 308 699 to speak to an advisor, or use the webchat on this website.

 

Accessing a COVID-19 vaccination

Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines — Australian Government Department of Health website
Information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability, including eligibility, types of vaccines and how to book an appointment.

COVID-19 eligibility checker— Australian Government Department of Health website
The Australian Government’s online tool helps you find out when and where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine

 

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Disability Liaison Officers (Victoria only)

Disability Liaison Officers help assist people with disability in Victoria who need to access hospital services during COVID-19.

Disability Liaison Officers can provide support for:

  • COVID-19 testing
  • COVID-19 vaccination, and
  • advice and prevention through linking people to other health supports.

There are more than 30 Disability Liaison Officers working with health services across Victoria. There may be a wait to access this service due to current demand.

Visit the Victorian Government Coronavirus website for more information and to request support.

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COVID-19 testing

The following resources can help you get tested for COVID-19, including information that can be useful to help you or someone you’re caring for prepare.

Setting a COVID-19 test instructions — Easy read — Australian Government Department of Social Services website
This information about getting a COVID-19 test is written in an easy-to-read way. It includes instructions written in Easy English.

A child’s guide to hospital: COVID-19 test — Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (YouTube)
This video by the Royal Children’s Hospital explains the process of having a COVID-19 swab test to children. It is captioned.

New South Wales Health — COVID-19 testing at home (NSW only) — NSW Health website
This service may be limited to people who cannot leave their home due to disability, injury, chronic health issues, or frailty affecting mobility.

Call-to-Test service (Victoria Only): How to get tested for coronavirus at home — Victorian Government coronavirus website
The Call-to-Test service is for Victorians who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and cannot leave home due to injury, mobility, or other eligible reasons.

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Wearing masks

Wearing masks — Easy read guide — Australian Government Department of Social Services website
Australian Government easy read guide on wearing masks. Including why masks are important, who is exempt from wearing a mask and the correct way to wear one.

Social story — Wearing a mask — Scope Australia (PDF)
Scope’s one-page social script explains wearing masks in plain English with simple illustrations.

A child’s guide to hospital — Why is everyone wearing a mask? Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (YouTube)
Video by the Royal Children’s Hospital that explains mask wearing to children. This video is captioned.

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Accessible resources on coronavirus

COVID-19 Return to school resources for autistic students and parents/carers — Amaze
These resources were developed in response to requests from families and carers of autistic school children returning to school. They provide an overview of the potential changes at school once lockdowns are lifted and supports autistic students may need.

Talking to the person you support about the coronavirus — Scope Australia
As the coronavirus outbreak progresses and countries do their best to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s a topic we can’t avoid. Here are some tips on how to tackle the topic and ease their worries about the coronavirus.

Coronavirus information in your language — SBS Australia
SBS is committed to informing all Australians about the latest coronavirus developments. News and information about coronavirus (COVID-19) is available in 63 languages. More information

Information for NDIS participants and families about the coronavirus — Every Australian Counts

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COVID-19 helplines

If you have questions about COVID-19 and need assistance, these helplines can provide you with more information.

National helplines

National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline — 1800 020 080
Information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app. The helpline is unable to book vaccination appointments.

Disability Information Helpline — 1800 643 787
The national Disability Information Helpline provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus. It can help people with disability, families, carers and support workers

State helplines

ACT COVID-19 helpline — 02 6207 7244
Providing ACT with information on Coronavirus. Available from 8 am – 8 pm, seven days a week.

Northern Territory COVID-19 hotline — 1800 490 484
For information on COVID-19 in the NT, including booking a COVID-19 test. Available 8 am – 4.30 pm, seven days a week.

Queensland COVID-19 enquiries — 134 COVID (13 42 68)
For COVID-19 enquiries, including hotspots, border passes, restrictions, contact tracing or testing.

South Australia COVID-19 Information Line — 1800 253 787
Provides local information and advice on general COVID-19 information for South Australians. Available 9 am – 5pm, seven days a week.

South Australia COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line — 1800 632 753
Provides mental health support for people in South Australia surrounding COVID-19. It is available to people to maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

Tasmanian Public Health Hotline — 1800 671 738
The Public Health Hotline ensures Tasmanians have access to coronavirus (COVID-19) support and information.

Victorian Coronavirus Hotline —1800 675 398
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, seven days a week.

Victorian Coronavirus Education Hotline — 1800 338 663
Contact the Department of Education and Training hotline for information about COVID-19 and early education, primary or higher education or tertiary education.

WA Health COVID-19 helpline — 13COVID (13 26843)
The WA State Government has established a 13-COVID hotline to answer questions around coronavirus, including state travel restrictions. Available 8 am – 6 pm, seven days a week.

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Crisis and support helplines

Things are tough right now, and many people in our community are feeling stressed or anxious. Please reach out to one of the following free helplines if you need support.

In an emergency or immediate crisis, please call emergency services on 000.

Lifeline Australia — 13 11 44
Lifeline provides Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention. Support is available by phone, webchat, and SMS.

Carers Gateway — 1800 422 737
Support and information for carers in Australia.

Kids Helpline — 1800 55 1800
Counselling and support for young people aged 5-25 years old. Support is available by phone, email or webchat.

Beyond Blue — 1300 22 4636
Beyond Blue provides counselling and support by phone, email or webchat.

Blue Knot Foundation — 1800 421 468
A national counselling and referral service for people with disability who are distressed or anxious about coronavirus. The website also provides support via webchat, email and SMS.

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Autism information and advice

Autism Connect — 1300 308 699
Autism Connect is a free, national autism helpline, providing independent and expert information over phone, email and webchat.

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