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a gloved ahnd gholding a bottle labelled covid-19 vaccine and a syringe.

The Royal Commission is examining the approach of the Australian Government and its agencies to the vaccination of people with disability and disability support workers in the context of the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout. 

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Content Warning

Some of the stories and information below contain details about abuse, neglect and mistreatment of people with disability. There is support if you have any concerns because of this information.

How can I attend? 

Due to COVID-19, the hearing is not open to the public. It is available to watch or listen to online via the live stream. The hearing will be live-streamed on Monday, 17 May 2021. 

What is it about?

The Royal Commission will hold a one day hearing on 17 May 2021 to examine the approach of the Australian Government and its agencies to the vaccination of people with disability and disability support workers in the context of COVID Vaccine rollout

This hearing will be closed to the public, but you can watch it online with captions and Auslan interpreters or listen to the audio-only stream. 

This hearing will examine the Australian Government’s approach to vaccinating people with disability and disability support workers against COVID-19.

The hearing will look at:

  • the number of people with disability and disability support workers who have received the vaccine
  • the availability of the vaccine to these groups
  • the information available to these groups about the rollout of the vaccine.

The hearing will also examine whether the government rollout plan has prioritised the vaccination of people with disability and disability support workers.

Previously, the Commission has published a report on the experiences of people with disability during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Auslan video

Live stream

Replay the hearing. Closed captions and Auslan translations provided as well as an audio-only stream



Centre for Research Excellence in Disability and Health

Report: Disability Support Workers and the COVID-19 Vaccine [PDF]

Between March and April 2021, researchers from the University of Melbourne and UNSW Canberra conducted an online survey of over 350 disability support workers (DSWs) about their opinions and needs surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.

Official Transcripts


Media Coverage

Monday 17 May

ABC Radio - AM

Disability Royal Commission examines vaccine rollout.

Three months after the start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, disability service providers remain concerned that some of societies most vulnerable have been unable to get the jab. Now the disability royal commission will examine those issues in a one-day hearing.

Canberra Times

Disability royal commission: vaccine rollout's 'forgotten' give evidence

Adults with disabilities who have been unable to secure a coronavirus vaccine despite being in a priority group are seeking answers to why they have been forgotten.

SBS News

Mother says vaccine rollout across disability sector a 'mess' after son's two-month wait for jab.

Families of people with disabilities have described their frustration at navigating the system for COVID-19 vaccinations as the Disability Royal Commission holds a public hearing into the issue.

Daily Telegraph

Disability royal commission: COVID vaccine rollout an "abject" failure 

[Subscription required]

In Daily

‘Abject failure’: Only six people in SA residential disability care vaccinated

Just six people in residential disability care and four disability support workers in South Australia have received a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the federal government’s rollout as of May 6, an inquiry has been told.

Support Services

Your Story Disability Legal Support is a free, independent legal service supporting people with disability to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission safely.

The Disability Royal Commission has set up support services for people with disability affected by or interacting with the Commission process. These supports include counselling, advocacy, financial and legal help. For more information and links, read our resource on Royal Commission Support Services.

More Information

Go to Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability for our full coverage on the Disability Royal Commission or choose from some of the past hearings listed below. 

Past Hearings

Disability Royal Commission looks at the criminal justice system 
Disability Royal Commission explores education and training of health care professionals concerning people with cognitive disability 
Disability Royal Commission explores pathways and barriers to open employment for people with disability 
Disability Royal Commission - First Nations People with a Disability
Disability Royal Commission explores barriers to education 
Disability Royal Commission hearing on the use of psychotropic medication 
Disability Royal Commission Hearing on Emergency Planning

Disability Royal Commission 

Phone:1800 517 199
Web: disability.royalcommission.gov.au 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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