As we begin the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the need for some people to access advocacy services has been highlighted and remains a subject of discussion. To enhance the opportunity for an individual to exercise choice and control within the new system, the support of an individual advocate can be beneficial during the planning and assessment process, as well as to assist with complaints or contentions. There are a number of positions that impact the current operating environment for advocacy services.
National – The Commonwealth is currently reviewing the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) and Framework to ensure that it retains currency during the implementation of the NDIS and into full scheme. Feedback on the discussion paper closed on 21 June 2016, so there will be time needed to evaluate the feedback to be clearer about what the future will look like in relation to advocacy services.
There is some info on the DSS website around this review Click here to review Disability and Carers
Queensland – State funded advocacy services is uncertain Queensland has committed to continue to fund Information, Linkages and Capacity building (ILC) type services until June 2019. The Queensland Government has agreed to maintain state funding to advocacy providers during the transition to the NDIS in Queensland. An agreement has been signed by the Qld and Commonwealth governments.
NDIS – It is important to remember that an advocate, support person or valued friend is permitted to attend with a person with disability to assist them understand the planning process. There are services and organisations that can provide individual advocacy for those who may not have a family or social network available for support (listed below). Any person of the participants choosing can be present at planning as an advocate.
Previous advice from the NDIA is that they support the notion of assistance with decision-making and there is some discussion of this at the following link – National Disability Advocacy
The NDIA does not fund advocacy for individuals. There is the NDAP available but there is concern that there will not be the resource to meet the demand.
For example, some participants can get funded supports in their plan that can be used for “advocacy” type services, especially when they are self-managing their budgets, but this would depend on the participants needs.
Gold Coast Disability Advocacy
Gold Coast Disability Advocacy is an accredited advocacy agency with a membership made of people with disability, family members of people with disability and interested community members.
Contact (07) 5564 0355 or visit their location at Shop 6/18 Ferry Street, Nerang Queensland.
ADA (formerly QADA)
ADA is a state-wide, culturally inclusive advocacy service that provides information, education, support and representation to enable people to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities. Their service is government funded to support those receiving aged care or community care services.
Contact 1800 818 338 or visit adaaustralia.com.au
Speaking Up For You (SUFY) provides an independent individual advocacy service for people with a disability aged over 16 years, servicing the Brisbane metropolitan and Moreton Bay areas.
Contact (07) 3255 1244 or visit www.sufy.org.au
AMPARO Advocacy is an organisation which provides individual and systemic advocacy, on behalf of people from a non-English speaking background who have a disability.
Contact (07) 3369 2500 or visit www.amparo.org.au