We are collecting a range of trustworthy, evidence-based resources that we hope will assist you. Scroll to find reliable news sources, official government information, social stories, tips for self-care and free resources to keep the kids busy. Follow us on Facebook to see our daily shares of helpful tools and fun distractions to put a smile on your face.
Details of the Victorian Government’s Roadmap out of COVID-19 can be found via this link.
The Australian Department of Health is closely monitoring the virus and developing advice based on the Australian situation. Here you will find general information and the latest updates. The Federal Government has also released an official COVID-19 app. Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the government’s WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has released a new suite of translated information about COVID-19 for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
The NDIS has information available for participants in easy read and a range of languages. This easy read document explains what the NDIS is doing to tackle COVID-19. There is also a comprehensive summary of information available from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
The NDIS is also currently working with The University of Melbourne to learn about your experiences with NDIS services during COVID-19. The research project is running now and involves an online survey that takes 15-20 minutes. A plain language explanation of the project can be found here.
The NDIS have also recently released (in August) this information pack for families of school aged children with a disability.
The First People’s Disability Network have also shared community information on COVID-19.
Every Australian Counts is also collecting straightforward COVID-19 information specially for NDIS participants.
Association for Children with a Disability has relevant information and updates on the evolving situation and what it means for families.
The Federal Government has also developed an online resource specifically for people with disability. Find the COVID-19 Advice for People With a Disability here.
The Australian Government have also developed a ‘Return to School for Students with Disability COVID-19’ Risk Management Plan, which you can access here.
The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health’s June newsletter is packed with useful resources such as translated information about COVID-19 that is updated daily, an Online Community Education Session on looking after loved ones, and other relevant information.
Local council information
Check with your council for local closures and changes.
Reliable news sources
ABC News offers balanced, researched, comprehensive coverage of the pandemic including latest news, explainers and a podcast answering listener questions. It also features updates from the Department of Health . The ABC’s Fact Check team is also keeping an eye on many of the social media stories circulating and have collated their findings at Corona Check.
SBS Radio has news and information sheets available in many different languages.
Social stories and tips
A social story about COVID-19 testing by the NSW Government.
A social story about wearing masks by US organisation ASERT. Versions available in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Burmese.
A range of social stories relevant to the current outbreak include versions by:
The Covibook by MindHeart comes in a range of languages
The Raising Children Network has a range of articles covering all aspects of COVID-19, including how to discuss the virus with children. Generation Next is another great local resource, including this article about discussing issues surrounding the pandemic.
Publisher, Nosy Crow, have created this free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler.
Gateways Support Services has developed this social story to prepare your child for returning to school.
Autism Little Learners have created a suite of social stories in multiple languages to help to explain changes brought about by COVID-19; why does my therapist look different? Getting a haircut during COVID-19, riding a bus during COVID-19, and other handy visual explanations.
The World Health Organisation has also created this Children’s Story Book to help children and young people cope.
Caring for yourself and your family
The Australia Government’s Carer Gateway has a plan you can fill out to assist others in caring for someone you support in the event you are unable to. Find the Carer Gateway Emergency Care Plan here.
The Australian Government will also now provide an additional 10 Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions to those affected by new restrictions.
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Families now offers free online learning modules, so you can gain self-care tips even if you can’t leave the house.
The Australian Psychological Society has put together a range of tips for helping people deal with anxiety related to COVID-19.
Australian mindfulness app Smiling mind has developed the Thrive Inside resource to support people’s mental health during the lockdown period. If you already have the app, find this new resource is in the Adult Programs section.
With so many people going online to stay connected and seek entertainment, the Office of the E-Safety Commissioner has a range of age-appropriate resources to help kids and teens stay safe online.
The Autism CRC and partners have developed a special resource to support the mental health of autistic teens. It is not specific to COVID-19, but a useful resource nonetheless.
Free activities and learning resources for kids
Audible is offering free streaming of a wide range of children’s audiobooks. Titles span picture books and middle school fiction through to teen novels and literary classics.
AllPlay have created this COVID-19 support learning page to support children, families and educators with the challenges brought on by the coronavirus such as disrupted routines and social distancing.
Bonkers Beats for Kids provides practical and educational experiences for children aged 2-8 years and ideas to help parents to work from home.
The Chatterpack blog has an extensive list on online resources and links to virtual tours of museums and galleries around the world. There are even links to free online concerts.
The Mighty – an online community for people with disability or facing health challenges – is running a host of online live events to keep like-minded but socially-distanced people connected. Check out their events page for details of coming events and how to join in.
While so much of the news we are receiving each day is negative and possibly frightening, you can stay in touch with the good things going on by searching for #thekindnesspandemic in your local area on your favourite social media channels.