Advocating for people with disability in NSW
The NSW Government has funded advocacy supports which build the capacity of people with disability to access opportunities and understand their options, rights and responsibilities to make informed decisions.
This funding has mainly been for individual advocacy, information and capacity building for people with disability in need of specialist supports.
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), these types of supports may be covered in a person’s funding package or as part of ‘Information, Linkages and Capacity Building’ (ILC).
How can advocacy supports be included as part of a NDIS participant’s package?
When NDIS participants receive their NDIS funding package, they can choose how this funding will be spent, and who will provide these supports.
An NDIS funding package may include advocacy related supports, such as:
- assistance to strengthen participant’s abilities to coordinate supports and participate in the community
- advice and assistance to resolve points of crisis and develop resilience
- training in planning and plan management
- specialist support coordination
- development of life skills
- life transition planning, including mentoring, peer support and skill development
- assistance with decision making, including daily planning and budgeting.
How will ILC support people with disability?
Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) will continue to provide information and referrals to connect people with disability, their families and carers with community and mainstream supports and activities.
The NDIS will provide $130 million each year for ILC supports for all people with disability, not just those with an NDIS funded plan.
How will the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) support people with disability?
NSW has funded advocacy organisations to provide systemic advocacy and legal representation to people with disability in NSW.
The Commonwealth’s National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) will continue even after full scheme transition in NSW is completed. It is available for services which support people with disability, even if they are not NDIS participants.
The Commonwealth is providing $60 million for the NDAP over the next two years.
What is being done now to ensure people with people with disability in NSW have good representation and support during NDIS transition?
There is no change to NSW Government advocacy funding until 30 June 2018. This gives advocacy providers funding assurance throughout the transition period, unlike other NGOs whose funding is being stepped down, so the same funds can be provided to the NDIS.
NSW has provided funding of about $35 million over three years to June 2018 to a variety of providers of specialist disability advocacy and information services. This includes $1.72 million to support providers with increased demand during the transition period and $1.5 million for the Skilled to Thrive project, so disability advocacy and information services can be ready for the NDIS.
On top of this, NSW has provided $10.6 million between July 2015 and June 2018 to organisations which provide individual and consumer advocacy.
How will the NSW government continue to support people with disability after NDIS transition is complete?
After full scheme rollout, the NSW Government will continue to promote community inclusion and facilitate participation in Government decision making so mainstream services better support people with disability.
There will be no change in mainstream advocacy and peak body activities which align with the goals of community inclusion and equitable access to mainstream services, particularly in the portfolios of health, mental health, housing, justice, and education.
The Disability Inclusion Act, passed in 2014, means that the NSW Disability Council and its supporting groups will continue to represent people with disability and provide advice to Government.
The Department of Family and Community Services, with advice from the Disability Council, will support disability inclusion action planning so Government agencies and local councils are accessible for people with disability.