Advocacy for Inclusion


Advocacy for Inclusion

Advocacy agency

The current framework is well drafted and was only recently signed off in December 2012. It took about 18 months or longer to develop with wide consultation at the time.

This happened at a time when the NDIS was in development and the NDAF was informed by that. We certainly knew the NDIS was in the wings, and we ensured that the existing framework was broad enough to encompass the principles of the NDIS as they manifested.

The key feature of the NDAF is that it is structured as a set of principles. It is based on the CRPD and through the National Disability Strategy it provides for implementation of the CRPD. That is the most important aspect of the Framework and must remain so.

Something to note is that the NDIS is a small facet of the lives of people with disabilities, and so it shouldn’t be the key driver as to how government and the community responds to the rights, hopes and aspirations of people with disabilities. Rather, the National Disability Strategy should provide the overarching directional guidance.

The advocacy sector is under enormous pressure, particularly in trial site locations, and the distraction of having to respond to very frequent consultation processes is depleting already scant resources.

Rather than revisit quite recent documents like the NDAF, it would be preferable to focus on resolving the urgent issue of funding certainty so that advocacy organisations are able to focus on our key work – supporting the rights of people with disabilities. Every consultation process, regulatory obligation, or change in practice diverts our resources away from people with disabilities.

Once a document is developed it should have a minimum life before review. In this case 2 years is hardly adequate to warrant such a large consultation and revision process. It is a waste of advocacy resources.

Fund our peak body properly, and fund our advocacy organisations properly so that we can meet the increased demand that we are experiencing.