A funding boost for systemic advocacy will support the rights of people with disability as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out across Western Australia (WA).
The investment of $1.2 million will help address a number of complex issues, including reducing barriers and discrimination faced by people with disability, through an increase in advocacy services.
An effective systemic disability advocacy approach for the State was developed following consultation with disability stakeholders, noting the multifaceted and complex issues faced by people with disability.
These issues include transition to the NDIS, housing, health, mental health, employment, cost of living, accessibility and issues specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and cultural and linguistic diversity.
WA Minister of Disability Services Stephen Dawson hopes the funding will positively impact the lives of people with disability living in Western Australia.
“In funding this initiative, the McGowan Government is seeking to bring about positive change in the sector and ensure the rights of people with disability are attained and upheld, particularly during transition to the NDIS.”
Mr Dawson describes the NDIS at “the most significant reform of our time” and says every effort needs to be made to ensure it works for Western Australians.
“There are, however, a range of factors aside from the NDIS impacting the lives of people with disability and their families and well-resourced systemic advocacy can contribute to early identification of these issues and good public policy.”
The investment also comes one month after the Andrews Labor Government announced $6 million will be directed to advocacy, to help an extra 300 Victorians with disability and their families access timely, targeted advocacy support.
Victorian Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley recognises the important role advocacy plays in ensuring the voices of people with disability are heard.
“Advocacy is critical to upholding the rights of people with disability and their families.”
Mr Foley is expecting the funding will help disability advocacy organisations support people entering the NDIS and provide a voice to people who may not otherwise be heard.
Funding will be made available to WA systemic disability advocacy organisations following a registration of interest.