You may have heard the term “disability advocacy” mentioned once or twice, but do you know what it means?
The Bright Plan Management team have broken down the term and how it applies to the NDIS below.
Disability advocacy is the practice of protecting and promoting the rights of people with a disability. Advocacy can be through speaking, writing or action. Disability advocacy helps people who have a disability navigate their way through complex systems or challenges, especially in situations where their voices have historically been ignored.
If an NDIS participant requires a disability advocate to ensure they are heard during the NDIS process, they are usually independent from the NDIA, the Commission and any NDIS provider so that there is no conflict of interest.
Why is disability advocacy important?
Disability advocacy is important as people who are disabled have historically been silenced, whether intentionally or unintentionally, by our institutions and policies.
While times are changing and becoming more progressive, a lot of our society’s systems and policies remain quite rigid and have not made room for other, more diverse voices. Disability advocacy is important as it bridges this gap.
The NDIS places significant importance on allowing participants to have choices and be able to make decisions regarding their own goals and supports, but this may sometimes fall short.
It is especially important when the person is unable to “bat for themselves” in challenging situations or they do not have family or friends who are able to adequately advocate on their behalf.
When do I need a disability advocate?
If you are unable to advocate for your ow1n rights and you do not have someone in your life you can act as an informal advocate while navigating challenging situations, you may require the services of a disability advocate.
How do I find a disability advocate?
The Federal Government’s Disability Advocate Finder is a search engine designed to help you find a suitable disability advocate in your area.
The Bright Plan Management team are ready to chat to you about all your NDIS questions. Reach out today!