Ability Inc. Advocacy Service is funded to advocate and support people with disability, their families and carers. The service is FREE to consumers. Ability Inc. advocates can provide short to medium term, non-legal, issue-based advocacy support to people with disability who have been treated unfairly, and who wish to make a formal complaint or need representation and support.
Our advocates listen to the person with disability, so they can accurately reflect their views and act fairly on their behalf.
Some reasons why you may need an advocacy service are:
Support and assistance with NDIS applications, planning meetings and appeals.
You may feel you are being treated badly, like a second class citizen.
Your disability may be viewed in a discrimatory way, resulting in insufficient support being provided.
Sometimes you may feel less empowerd than other groups.
We advocate for:
All people with disability; Intellectual, Psychiatric, Sensory, Autism Spectrum Disorders or physical.
People of all ages with disability, their families and carers.
People with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD).
Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders with disability.
Ability Inc. welcomes parents and service providers to seek information and support whenever needed. Referral can be made by ringing us yourself, instructing another service to ring us on your behalf or asking your family or carer to help you.
Types of Advocacy Provided
This model of Advocacy fundamentally involves standing up for the rights of someone with disability who is being treated unfairly. Individual Advocacy seeks to uphold the rights and interests of people with disability on a one-on-one basis by addressing instances of discrimination, abuse and neglect.
We will provide a person with disability with options so then they can make decisions about what they want to happen in their life. Individual Advocacy aims to empower people with disability to be involved in solving the problem, and to have their say and stand up for their rights.
Individual advocates can help a person with a disability, their family or carer in the following ways:
Advocating one-on-one with the person with disability
Speaking on behalf of a person at meetings and on the phone
Providing information and developing a plan of action in partnership with that person
Directly deal with a landlord and services on your behalf (this may be regarding rent arrears, or a dispute with your service providers, abuse or neglect)
Provide non-legal support at court and tenancy tribunal hearings
Support with a legal issue by arranging an appointment for legal advice with a Solicitor, and attending the meeting
Meeting and negotiating with service providers for a better deal
Support with dealing with Department of Human Service (removal of children matters and contact)
Assistance with preparing guardianship and financial management applications to the Guardianship Tribunal and non-legal representation at Guardianship Tribunal Hearings
Assistance with problems at work, attend school meetings, TAFE or uni etc)
Discussing a problem with your advocate can result in helping to think through options for moving forward
Supporting an individual to make a formal complaint involving disability discrimination against your employer or school (e.g. assisting by lodging a complaint to the Human Rights Commission or Anti-Discrimination Board.
Debts -negotiate with creditors on your behalf to enter into a repayment plan or apply for a waiver of debt (excessive mobile phone bill, rent arrears, credit card debts etc)
Centrelink matters, including correspondence nominee or appeals.
This model of advocacy is about developing the personal skills and self confidence of people with disability to enable them to advocate on their own behalf. Ability Inc. offers training in self advocacy to individuals and groups of people with disability in how to make decisions for themselves and to speak up for themselves.
We strive to empower people with disability to do things for themselves, to be independent and to have the confidence to be able to live, work and socialise within the community. We also support students with transition to work programs by encouraging them to be as independent as possible.
This model of advocacy involves working with parents and family members of people with disability. Family advocates support families and carers by providing information to enable them to act as advocates on behalf of the family member with disability. We provide education to parents and carers about the rights of people with disability. Our advocates support parents and carers of students requiring disability support at school by attending Individual Education Plan meetings and assist with other schooling issues.
We encourage parents, families and carers to maintain appropriate contact with service providers, who provide support for their family member with disability. We can offer assistance when disputes arise with services providers.
Our Client Service Information Booklet may be viewed or downloaded from the noticeboard.