The Barwon Disability Research Council: Advocating for those living with disability.September 4, 2020
George* contacted the Barwon Disability Research Council’s Assert 4 All Advocacy program to make a claim for the Disability Support Pension. An advocate from the program was able to help him write the letters to take to his doctor and specialist with the information Centrelink needed for his claim to be successful.
The advocate attended Centrelink meetings with George (via phone due to Covid-19) and was successful in acquiring the Disability Support Pension.
Not only was George* able to get critical assistance in obtaining a Disability Support Pension, but he was able to develop some self-advocacy skills and resilience by working with the advocate and doing some of the work himself.
George remarked that being on the Disability Support Pension will enable him to plan for his future.
While the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a great initiative for Australia and our region, not every person with a disability is eligible for NDIS support, and not every Advocacy issue can be solved with an NDIS plan.
Advocacy is vitally important and needed for those areas of life that are not covered by the NDIS, which can include:
– Abuse and neglect
– Homelessness and housing
– Financial – Centrelink, superannuation, wages, supported wage
– Access to premises (systemic advocacy)
– Transport access (systemic advocacy)
– Parents with disabilities in child protection system
– Individuals who are not eligible for the NDIS.
Advocacy is also required for those who would be eligible for the NDIS but need some help navigating the system and support for when they come across issues with the NDIS or providers.
This is where the BDRC’s Assert 4 All Advocacy program can help, by enabling individuals with disabilities to fully participate in our community and gain resilience through providing individual advocacy and building their capacity to self-advocate.
Through your donations, The Give Where You Live Foundation was proud to support the Barwon Research Disability Council’s Assert 4 All program through a $10,000 community connections grant to ensure the continuation of this critical work.
*Name changed for privacy