Advocacy for Inclusion Incorporating People with Disabilities ACT
A person can contact an advocacy organisation when they are having difficulty negotiating a process or if they feel they might benefit from having support in meetings or appointments.
Advocates act under the instruction of the client. People might ask for the support of an advocate when:
- They feel overwhelmed in dealing with government departments or agencies.
- They are faced with paperwork, meetings, or processes that they find difficult to understand.
- Advocates can go with clients to meetings, explain what is going on, and ensure that the client’s voice and point of view are being heard.
Disability advocacy organisation often provides a service that is focused on the big picture. Large organisation’s and government departments sometimes work in ways that disadvantage people with disabilities.
Disability advocacy organisation’s keep an eye on these big systems issues – the ones affecting a lot of people – and they feedback observations and suggestions to the government. This work is called systemic advocacy.
AFI writes on both local and national systemic issues in the form of submissions, reports and position papers on issues affecting people with disability.
We also provide expert policy advice on issues affecting people with disabilities by being on panels and advisory groups.
Education and training
We can provide training for people who want to gain skills so they can be their own advocate – in other words, be a self-advocate.
Our training can focus on a range of skills, such as:
- being well prepared for meetings,
- communicating clearly and effectively,
- managing emotions and stress,
- keeping focused on what matters
- various skills that are about self-care and managing expectations.
AFI also provides training to groups who may want to know more about how to engage with people with disabilities effectively. We provide inclusion and awareness training or workshops on supported decision making. We also have a series of information podcasts to guide individuals to learn about topics such as supported decision making and resilience.
Many of our clients have an NDIS Plan. Sometimes the decisions the NDIA makes are hard to understand, insufficient or wrong.
These decisions may be about:
- Access to the scheme
- The supports that are in a person’s plan
- Statement of participant supports
- Whether a plan review should happen
- Plan nominees
AFI can help people understand the reasons for the NDIA’s decision, and what they can do to change it.
AFI is providing advocacy services for people wishing to engage with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission).
The Disability Royal Commission wants to hear from the Australian community about experiences of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people with disability.
AFI can help people to tell their story to the Disability Royal Commission by:
- Providing free and independent advocacy support for people with disability, or family members or carers acting on their behalf.
- Finding communication supports, such as interpreters.
- Accessing supports, such as legal or financial services.
- Helping people understand if they want to tell their story and how they want to tell it.