Advocacy, information and peer support
WE MAKE INCLUSION HAPPEN by supporting independent individual and systemic advocacy, peer support and information services.
There are a range organisations (both locally and Nationally) providing advocacy, information and peer support to people with disabilities.
What is Advocacy?
The National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) provides people with disability with access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights enabling community participation.
Advocacy for people with disability can be defined as speaking, acting or writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the interests of a disadvantaged person or group, in order to promote, protect and defend the welfare of and justice for either the person or group by:
- Acting in a partisan manner (i.e. being on their side and no one else's);
- Being primarily concerned with their fundamental needs;
- Remaining loyal and accountable to them in a way which is empathic and vigorous (whilst respecting the rights of others); and
- Ensuring duty of care at all times.
There are two disability advocacy agencies funded in the ACT to provide individuals with advocacy services:
- ACT Disability Aged & Carer Advocacy Service Inc (ADACAS)
- Advocacy for Inclusion Incorporated
In 2018, the ACT Government announced the provision of additional funding to ADACAS and Advocacy for Inclusion to assist people to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
ACT Disability Aged and Carer Advocacy Service (ADACAS) helps people with disabilities, older people and their carers. ADACAS provides free independent advocacy in the ACT. The ADACAS Vision is ‘a world in which everyone may exercise their rights and responsibilities, lead lives of value and dignity, and pursue their dreams’. Their mission is to assert, promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities, people who are older and people who are caregivers.
They also run projects and training in supported decision making.
Phone: (02) 6242 5060
Office: Unit 14 / 6 Gritten Street, Weston Community Hub, Weston ACT 2611.
Advocacy for Inclusion
Advocacy for Inclusion provides independent individual, self and systemic advocacy for people with disabilities.
Advocacy for Inclusion represents Canberra’s most marginalised and isolated people with disabilities, including those persons with cognitive disabilities and/or significant communication barriers. The organisation provides self, individual and systemic advocacy services as well as disability awareness and inclusion training to the wider community.
- Individual Advocacy is having someone to stand beside you if you feel something is unfair or you feel someone is treating you unfairly and you would like to do something to change it
- Self-advocacy is about having the skills and confidence to speak up for yourself about issues that affect your life.
- Systemic advocacy is about influencing all levels of government, public institutions, private enterprise and the community to recognise and uphold the rights of people with disabilities.
Phone: (02) 6257 4005
Office: Suite 2.02 in the Griffin Centre, 20 Genge St, Canberra City ACT 2601.
There are other organisations in Canberra offering systemic advocacy, information and peer support.
People With Disabilities ACT
PWD ACT represents, promotes and supports the collective interests of people with disabilities. We work to bring about an inclusive society by:
- Advocating for the removal of all attitudinal, physical and social barriers which prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in community life;
- Working to improve policies. programs and practices in our society which support people with disabilities to have the best life possible; and
- Collaborating with other ACT disability advocacy organisations to improve outcomes for people with disabilities.
Visit the website and find out about their free membership for people with disabilities: www.pwdact.org.au
Women With Disabilities ACT
WWDACT is a systemic advocacy and peer support organisation for women, girls, feminine identifying and non-binary people with disability in the ACT region. Established in 1995, WWDACT follows a human rights philosophy, based on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of (All Forms Of) Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It works with government and non-government organisations to improve the status and lives of women with disabilities in the ACT and surrounding region. Our priority areas include: equity, health, violence prevention, environmental safety and housing.
WWDACT, through its membership, has strong links to relevant ACT advocacy organisations and also has a close association with Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), the peak organisation for women with all types of disabilities in Australia
Visit their website to join or find out more: www.wwdact.org.au
Imagine More is a change agency advocacy group with perseverance, integrity and connections. They aim to “Strengthen Families and Enhance Communities.”
Imagine More believes in a strong connected community where individuals with a disability hold socially valued roles, have strong relationships and are constantly exploring what is possible. Imagine More embraces the opportunity to inspire, resource and motivate individuals with a disability and their families to discover better life chances for individuals so that they can live an ordinary life.
Visit the website for resources and upcoming training: www.imaginemore.org.au
Carers ACT is a not-for-profit organisation and the peak body for carers in the ACT. Their purpose is to support, connect and empower carers to maintain their caring role and personal wellbeing. Carers ACT is a proud member of the National Network of Carers Associations.
Carers are partners, spouses, children, family, friends or neighbours who assist someone who has a disability, is ageing or has an ongoing mental or other illness. Carers provide informal, unpaid help with daily living activities.
Carer support in the ACT has grown substantially in recent years with programs focused on information and advice, counselling, respite, support groups and educational and social activities. In 2017, Carers ACT partnered with the ACT Government to begin developing the first ACT Carers Strategy in consultation with Canberra’s carers.
Visit their website to join or find out more: www.carersact.org.au/
SHOUT (Self Help Organisations United Together)
SHOUT, a hub of small organisation based in Pearce, is a great source information about local peer support groups for specific disabilities and medical conditions.
SHOUT provides members with a range of services and facilities to develop and support self-help groups in the ACT region. Their office provides a contact point for self-help groups and will provide a point of contact to refer and connect people to organisations and groups through the web-based platform.
Visit their Web of Support to search their directory of Self-Help, Support Groups and Community Services.
ACT Advocacy Agencies (Community Services Directorate website)
"More independent advocacy for Canberrans navigating the NDIS" - 2018 Media release: Minister for Disability Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA
Advocacy for Inclusion and ADACAS joint Supported Decision Making project
For information about disability advocacy around Australia, see Disability Advocacy Network Australia
If you have a complaint about an Australian Government funded Advocacy Service you have accessed, contact the Complaints Resolution and Referral Service: 1800 880 052
If you are looking for disability information, but don’t know where to look, you can contact IDEAS (Information of Disability & Education Awareness Services): 1800 029 904