How did you get to work or school today? Did you drive? Catch public transport? Walk? Many of us don’t give a second thought as to how we get around each day. For a start, try negotiating yourself onto a crowded bus, or accessing a public toilet, or merely navigating your way along some of our un-even footpaths using a wheelchair. When you use a wheelchair or mobility aid, or can’t read signage, there are a number of obstacles to hinder your journey.
Through your donations the Barwon Disability Resource Council Assert 4 All Advocacy program carries out individual advocacy and systemic advocacy on both big and small issues related to accessibility, abuse and neglect and discrimination for people with disabilities. This advocacy is made possible in part by a $30,000 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation.
Assert 4 All ‘stands beside’ people with disabilities to help them speak up for what they need and greatly lessen their disadvantage. Emily* who received advocacy from BDRC recently commented that “Confidential listening and understanding attitude towards your privacy and dignity in confused and very stressful circumstances helped me.”
With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), advocacy is even more vital to assist individuals to navigate. BDRC also continues to provide advocacy support for all of the issues that fall outside of the scheme. The Australia wide statistics show there are approximately 4,230,000 people with a disability in Australia and only 400,000 will receive individual packages under the NDIS. Advocacy is needed for the most vulnerable to uphold the fundamental human rights of people with a disability, to remain loyal, accountable and listen, to enable people with a disability to increase power and control over their lives and to achieve equity of access and participation in our community.
*not her real name – wishes to remain anonymous