(02) 6628 8188

Toll Free: 1800 657 961

Advocating for people with disability on the Far North Coast of NSW

Our services

Ability Advocacy is funded to advocate for people with disability, their families and carers. The service is FREE. Our team can provide short to medium term, non-legal, issue-based support to people with disability who have been treated unfairly, and who wish to make a formal complaint or need representation.

Our team listens to you, so we can understand your views and act fairly on your 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 seen in a discriminatory way, and you may not get enough support.
  • Sometimes you may feel less empowered than other groups.

Accessing Advocacy

We advocate for:

  • All people with disability; physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory or autism spectrum disorders.
  • 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 Advocacy welcomes parents and service providers to seek information and support whenever needed. You can ring us yourself, ask another service to ring us for you, or ask your family or carer to help you.

Types of Advocacy Provided

Individual Advocacy
Self Advocacy
Family Advocacy
NDIS Appeals
Training
Individual Advocacy

Individual advocacy

This type of support is about standing up for the rights of someone with disability who is being treated unfairly. Individual Advocacy aims to support the rights and of people with disability. We will hear your issues of discrimination, abuse or neglect and help you solve them.

We will provide options to a person with a disability so that 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.

Our team can help a person with a disability, their family or carer in the following ways:

  • Supporting a person with disability, one-on-one
  • Speaking at meetings and on the phone on your behalf
  • Providing information and developing a plan of action together with you
  • Directly dealing with a landlord and official services on your behalf (this may be about rent arrears, or a dispute with your service providers, abuse or neglect)
  • Providing non-legal support at court and tenancy tribunal hearings
  • Support with a legal issue by booking an appointment for legal advice with a Solicitor, and attending the meeting
  • Meeting and negotiating with service providers for a better deal
  • Support dealing with Department of Human Service (removal of children and/or contact matters)
  • Help preparing guardianship and financial management applications to the Guardianship Tribunal and non-legal representation at Guardianship Tribunal Hearings
  • Assistance with problems at work, providing support at school meetings, TAFE or uni etc
  • Discussing a problem with you, to think through options for moving forward
  • Supporting you to make a formal complaint against your employer or school about disability discrimination (e.g. lodging a complaint to the Human Rights Commission or Anti-Discrimination Board)
  • Help you with debt support by negotiating with creditors to enter you into a repayment plan, or applying for a waiver of debt (excessive mobile phone bill, rent arrears, credit card debts etc)
  • Centrelink matters, including correspondence nominee or appeals.
Self Advocacy

Self Advocacy

This type of support is about developing the personal skills and self confidence of people with disability to enable them to advocate on their own behalf. We offer training in self advocacy to individuals and groups of people with disability, so they can make decisions for themselves and 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.

Family Advocacy

Family Advocacy

This type of support is about 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 who need disability support at school, by attending Individual Education Plan meetings and assisting 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 our Publications page.

NDIS Appeals

NDIS Appeals

Ability Advocacy is funded as an NDIS Appeals support person to assist you in appealing decisions made by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
If you are unhappy with a decision made by the NDIA you can request an internal review of that decision by the NDIA.

If you still disagree with a decision after the internal review has been completed, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to conduct an external merits review. This is an independent assessment of an NDIA decision. The types of decisions that can be reviewed include, but are not limited to: NDIS eligibility; or what has or has not been approved for your plan.

An internal review mist be conducted first by the NDIA before you can go to the AAT

What help can I get if I apply to the AAT?

Help is available from an NDIS Appeals support person to:

  • Assist you to understand the review process
  • Prepare documents needed for the external merits review
  • Assist you to apply for legal assistance to pursue an application to the AAT*
  • Provide you with advice and skills so that you can better represent yourself at the AAT, if you choose to do so, or
  • Attend AAT conferences and hearings with you, and help you in putting your case to the AAT.

*Legal assistance may be available where your matter is assessed by the Department of Social Services as raising a complex or novel issue.

More information and an Easy Read guide to Appeals can be found on our Publications page.

Training

Training

Ability Advocacy trains people with disabilities in advocacy, empowerment, rights, assertiveness and responsibilities at work and in the community. Training sessions are free.

Our sessions usually last ¾ of an hour to an hour. This is flexible and negotiable.

We also offer training sessions to Organisations, Schools, TAFE and Universities. These training sessions can be tailored to your organisation and modified to inform your organisation on the rights of individuals and what it takes to create an inclusive organisation.

The following are sessions we provide for People with Disabilities:

  • What is Advocacy
  • Decision Making
  • Standards for Disability Services
  • Working in the Community
  • Working Safely
  • Harassment

We also offer the following for organisations, community groups and educational institutes;

  • What is Advocacy
  • Standards for Disability Services
  • Supported Decision Making

If you have any enquiries or want to know more about what additional sessions we can offer or would like to book in a training session, please Contact Us