People with disabilities often experience, or are at least vulnerable to discrimination, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Their rights, whether human or legal rights are commonly ignored and denied.
Access to ways of enforcing those rights, while readily available to many others in society, may be restricted or denied to
people with disabilities.
The Combined Advocacy Group Queensland consists of 12 independent advocacy organisations in Queensland who are committed to providing advocacy for people with disabilities. Independent advocacy is necessary to address serious issues of discrimination, abuse and neglect of people with a disability. Advocacy represents the rights and interests of some of the most vulnerable people in our community, who do not have a voice.
AMPARO Advocacy Inc. www.amparo.org.au
Capricorn Citizen Advocacy Inc. www.capca.org.au
Gold Coast Disability Advocacy Inc. www.gca.org.au
Independent Advocacy in the Tropics www.independentadvocacy.org.au
Ipswich Regional Advocacy Services Inc.
Mackay Advocacy Inc. www.mackayadvocacy.com.au
People with Disabilities Australia Inc. www.pwd.org.au
Queensland Advocacy Inc. www.qai.org.au
Rights In Action Inc. www.rightsinaction.org
Speaking Up For You Inc. www.sufy.org.au
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Inc. www.citizenadvocacy.com
The Advocacy and Support Centre Inc. www.tascnational.org.au
Demand for advocacy has increased with the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as people struggle to navigate the complex system. The Productivity Commission recognised the critical role of independent advocacy to the NDIS. Advocates will play a crucial role in protecting the rights of individuals and contributing to systemic improvements of the NDIS.
"Individual and systemic advocacy should continue to play an important role in the disability sector under the NDIS, and should be sufficiently funded to do so. In order to ensure its independence (from the NDIA) and effective provision, advocacy should be funded by FaHCSIA and from state and territory governments."
Given that the NDIS does not fund advocacy and only 1 in 9 Australians will be eligible to access the scheme, well resourced, independent advocacy remains instrumental in ensuring people can access mainstream services and that their human rights are protected and defended.
All levels of government have a responsibility to support advocacy for people with disabilities to ensure they can exercise their rights and freedoms. State governments are responsible for essential services such as health, housing, education, justice and transport for all of their citizens. Too often people with disabilities experience or are vulnerable to barriers and discrimination when trying to access these services and require advocacy support.