Advocacy - It's About Time!
We think it’s about time that people with disability enjoyed the same rights and opportunities as other Australians.
It was not very long ago in Australia, that most people with severe or profound disability lived in an institution.
With little or no choice or control over their lives, people living in institutions were bound by the culture, the norms, and the rules set by the people who ran the institutions.
Over time, people adjusted to these values, social structures, and expectations as ‘normal’, which meant that their behaviour was not always accepted in the wider community.
People living in institutions were at higher risk of harm and abuse, causing significant, and sometimes ongoing trauma. And while it may have been many years since a person lived in an institution, their experiences remain relevant to their current supports and life circumstance.
While societal expectations have developed over time, there is still a lot of ground to make up.
We support the right for everyone to access an advocate if they need or want one.
An advocate is a person who acts on your behalf to promote and protect your rights and interests.
You may need an advocate when you speak with us about your support needs and the services we can provide, or if you want to give us feedback or make a complaint.
An advocate could be someone you know, a family member or friend, or someone in the community who works as an advocate for people with disability.
Advocates act in your best interest and help you to:
- understand your rights and responsibilities
- address any unfair treatment you may be experiencing
- understand information and make decisions
- build your own skills to advocate for yourself over time.
If you tell us that you need an advocate, we will work with you to find someone you already know who would be a great advocate for you, or we will find an advocacy service provider to support you.