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Essential Disability Services continue during COVID-19 emergency

People living with disability in the Clarence Valley are adapting to a new way of life during COVID-19.

With tough restrictions in place to keep the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people living with disability are worried about how these changes will affect their essential support services.

Staff at local disability support organisation CHESS Connect are playing a vital role in helping vulnerable people in the Clarence Valley to accept and understand current events.

“Our teams are closely following the advice from the Australian and State Government and are actively working to ensure safe delivery of services to people with disability” says local disability worker, Naomi Elliot.

“Our National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Mental Health services are deemed an ‘essential service’ by the Australian Government so we will continue to provide these services to our community.”

To keep their customers safe, CHESS Connect have implemented a number of health and safety measures. These include pre-appointment health screenings, adherence to strict hygiene practices, practicing social distancing as appropriate and avoiding group activities and gathering places.

“We are still providing in-house support to our customers” says Naomi. “We can provide our services in person, practicing proper health and safety, or we can offer alternative arrangements such as phone or video all appointments.”

“We recently had a customer in the Clarence Valley who spent 4 hours on the phone with their support worker, baking a cake, playing games and engaging in conversation. This is a great example of the types of supports we can provide, adapted to the COVID-19 restrictions.”

“It is very important to be aware of the impacts of social isolation for people living with disability. Our teams are available in person and online to help relieve the health risks of isolation and provide on-going support for vulnerable members of our community.”

CHESS Connect continue to provide essential disability services to their current customers and welcome new enquiries from NDIS participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on their services and to make an enquiry visit