How we can help Advice COVID-19 / Coronavirus Updates Keep up to date with the Government's information and advice Keep up to date with the Northern Ireland Executive Keep up to date with the HSCNI information and advice Download Mencap's Easy Read Guide on Coronavirus Useful websites for Employers Disability Action are aware of the pressures, anxiety and stress being caused to all in our global community in respect of COVID–19 (Coronavirus). We are also very aware of the impact this is having on disabled people. The Disability Action team is here to help. We are working remotely to ensure continuity of service and to support as many disabled people as possible during this challenging period. You can still email [email protected] or call 028 9029 7880 and your call/email will be diverted. We will update this COVID-19 / Coronavirus page regularly with news, information and advice for our members and all disabled people and their carers. Together As One. Nothing About Us Without Us! 02.04.2020 Disability Action deeply concerned by recent BMA Guidance ‘COVID-19: ethical issues Whilst we continue to fully support our dedicated medical professionals and urge all people to isolate; as an organisation we now urge the British Medical Association (BMA) to reconsider the guidance it has produced as a matter of urgency. Read more. 01.04.2020 DATS providing new Collection & Delivery and Transport services Disability Action Transport Service (DATS) are offering new services to both members and non-members during this very difficult COVID-19 period. Read more. 31.03.2020 COVID-19 Community Helpline A Freephone Helpline to assist those in vulnerable groups to access information, advice and guidance in relation to COVID-19 is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week. The Helpline is local to Northern Ireland and is managed by Advice NI. Read more. 31.03.2020 Public Health Agency Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus - in British Sign Language (BSL) 31.03.2020 Public Health Agency Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus - in Irish Sign Language (ISL) 30.03.2020 The Prime Minister's letter to the nation on coronavirus The Prime Minister is writing to every UK household to urge them to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. RNIB have reproduced the letter as an accessible Word document for anyone to download. Read more. 29.03.2020 Coronavirus advice for people with a learning disability A booklet explaining the latest government advice on coronavirus is available in an easy read format. Download the booklet here. 26.03.2020 Coronavirus: Financial aid for self-employed Self-employed workers facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus are set to be offered a package of support from the government. Read more. 26.03.2020 Coronavirus: Business Support Grant Schemes Registration is now open for businesses to apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme. Read more. 26.03.2020 Update on Free School Meals Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Education Minister Peter Weir have announced plans to make sure families do not experience hardship as a result of schools closing. Read more. 26.03.2020 Petition for the government to consider social care as equally important to NHS Disability Action understand the important and (often unseen) role social care plays in allowing our community to live and enjoy life just like every other citizen. When social care is threatened, particularly at times of societal crisis – we must all be ready to defend it . There needs to be a re-think of social care and the value that is attributed to it. It is integral, not separate. Please sign the petition - to get parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support. Read more. 25.03.2020 NICE updates rapid COVID-19 guideline on critical care On 23rd March Disability Action called on NICE to include specific further guidance in partnership with Disabled people and their organisations. It is important our healthcare professionals have guidance which includes and fully reflects disabled people in the difficult times ahead. Today NICE have advised "We have listened to concerns raised by patient groups about the application of our rapid COVID-19 critical care guideline." Read more. 25.03.2020 Suspension of Disability Action Transport Service Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has put further measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes the suspension of the Disability Action Transport Service from 6pm on Wednesday 25th March 2020. Read more. 25.03.2020 Coronavirus Community Fund The Community Foundation Northern Ireland are adapting the criteria for their Coronavirus Community Fund - Older people - Those at increased risk, particularly in relation to poor mental health and wellbeing - Vulnerable isolated people and families, especially those in rural areas. Read more. 25.03.2020 Postponement of Driving assessments and lessons Due to the new measures in place regarding social distancing Disability Action have taken the decision to postpone all driving assessments and lessons in the interest of everyone's health and safety. Further guidance has been provided by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA). Read more. 24.03.2020 Hargey introduces further measures to protect the most vulnerable and their families Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA today suspended reviews and reassessments for health and disability benefits for the next three months. Disability Action hopes this news will reassure and help disabled people in these challenging times. Read more. 24.03.2020 Minister announces further support for those affected by COVID-19 Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has today announced enhancements to the Discretionary Support scheme to further support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More. 24.03.2020 Economy NI - Advice for Employees If you have to stay at home because of coronavirus, an isolation note to send to your employer is now available. Read more. 23.03.2020 Emergency Covid-19 Legislation and NICE Clinical Guidance Disability Action are deeply concerned by a number of provisions contained in the draft Coronavirus Bill being debated in parliament today. It is likely elements will be before our own Assembly and respective Committees in the coming days. We are happy to witness so many in our community coming together to contact their respective political representatives on these issues. Read more. 18.03.2020 Statement from Disability Action on Covid-19 Disability Action will continue to liaise and work with all allies throughout this time. We are heartened by the sector’s ability to pull together, we are up for the challenges ahead and we know that we can rely on the continued dedication of Disability Action staff. Read more. 16.03.2020 Measures to protect the most vulnerable to ensure delivery of social security services Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA today announced measures to ensure the continued delivery of important social security services, in light of the escalating issues around COVID-19. Read more.