Tactile signing

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update 27 May, 2021

The acting Victorian Premier, James Merlino advised Victoria will move to circuit breaker restrictions from 11.59pm 27 May, 2021.

As an essential services provider, Able Australia’s Victorian sites will continue to operate in a modified form.

The circuit breaker restrictions there are some changes to the services we deliver and how we deliver them. These changes only impact our team based in Victoria.

  • Victorian Day Services will be closed from Friday 28 May onwards with exemptions on compassionate grounds. We hope to reopen Day Services on Monday 7 June however that will be confirmed closer to the date.
  • Community Services will be closed all of next week with exemptions on compassionate grounds.
  • Deafblind Services will continue to operate for clients who require support to undertake any one of the allowed activities as directed by the Victorian Government.
  • Clients living in our Residential Services will be asked to stay at home unless they are required to undertake any one of the permitted activities. There will be exemptions made based on compassionate grounds.

All staff will continue to maintain their COVID-safe practices which include:

  • Maintain physical distancing where practical
  • Maintain hand hygiene and continuing the rigorous cleaning of all services
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks and eye wear.

The Able team have been actively communicating these changes to our impacted clients and families. If you have any questions please email comms@ableaustralia.org.au and we will do what we can to help.

This is a difficult time for everyone. Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health. For further information visit, https://www.beyondblue.org.au   


What is Able Australia doing to keep clients safe?

We developed the COVID-19 Management Plan and setup an Incident Command Centre, which meets daily to monitor and respond to the rapidly changing environment. We have provided ongoing staff training for infection control, audit worker hand hygiene procedure and the donning and removing of PPE.

In addition, a Rapid Response Team has been setup. The Rapid Response Team is a carefully selected team that is on standby until the need arrives if we have a positive COVID case. The team have received comprehensive COVID-19 training, including; correct procedure for applying and removing PPE, disposal of waste, management and procedures if a suspected COVID-19 positive situation arises.

Able has implemented strong infection control policies including;

  • Social Distancing
  • Hand hygiene – as well as conducting audits on this procedure
  • Installed automatic hand sanitisers at all Able sites
  • Increased cleaning of high touch areas
  • Face masks (Victoria only)
  • Face shields (Victoria only)
Does Able have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and clients?

Yes, since February Able has been continuously procuring PPE for staff and clients including;

  • 950,000+ P2 masks for the disability sector.
  • 24 litres of locally sourced hand sanitiser.
  • 400 protective gowns sewn by a team of Able volunteers.
  • 400+ face shields produced in Melbourne.
Do clients need to wear face masks? (VIC only)

No, clients are not required to wear face masks inside their homes or Able accommodation however, some clients may choose to wear a face mask.

If a client is outside of their residence the Department of Health and Human Services have highlighted exceptions for not wearing a face covering as outlined here.

How are the clients coping?

Whilst the pandemic has been extremely challenging for our clients, they are in good spirits. The environment has enabled clients to learn how to use assistive technology for the first time. This has been a fantastic opportunity for clients to connect with family and friends outside of their home whilst building their confidence.

Clients are connecting with those in their home and outside via Able’s Zoom baking sessions which have been a hit.

COVID-19 Policies

Download:   Able Australia – Site Entry Policy COVID-19 Pandemic – VIC (for families)

COVID-19 Resources

Download:   Able Australia Coronavirus Response Plan – Summary

Download:   Able Australia Coronavirus Management Plan – Full Plan Version 2.1

Download:   Communication to all clients regarding the Able COVID-19 Response (Plain Language)

Download:   Communication to all clients regarding the Able COVID-19 Response (Easy English)

Download:   NDIS – What is COVID-19? (Easy Read version)


Able in the news

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Update)

Volunteer Army Called Upon to Sew Protective Gowns for Frontline Disability Support Workers

Face masks have arrived

Able Australia procuring P2 masks for the Disability Sector

Local production of Face Shields is underway for the Disability Sector

Queensland’s Innovative Initiatives to Lift Spirits During COVID-19

Able’s drive for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Updated Rules For Mask Wearing In Victoria