What is advocacy?
Broadly, advocacy means supporting the interests of an individual or group, with the aim of promoting and protecting their rights and welfare.
If your disability puts you at risk of being disadvantaged or treated improperly (e.g. pressured to make a decision or choice, or abused, neglected or discriminated against), an advocate can help you represent your interests.
Common types of advocacy include:
- individual advocacy—a one-on-one approach, where an advocate works directly with a person with disability.
- systemic advocacy—working to influence or secure long-term changes to ensure the collective rights and interests of people with disability.
- family advocacy—when a parent or family member advocates with and on behalf of a family member with disability.
Advocacy is not:
- taking over a person's life or problems
- making decisions for another person
- providing mediation.
Disability and Community Care advocacy services
If you think you have been treated improperly or need assistance with understanding your rights, help is available. There are 14 organisations across Queensland that can provide you with government-funded advocacy services.
To get help, you can call one of the following organisations to make an appointment, or visit their website for more information.
- Amparo Advocacy Inc.—Building 1, Level 2, 53 Prospect Road, Gaythorne, QLD; Tel: (07) 3354 4900
- Capricorn Citizen Advocacy Inc.—Shop 3/118 George Street, Rockhampton, QLD; Tel: (07) 4922 0299
- Down Syndrome Association Of Qld Inc.—282 Stafford Road, Stafford, QLD; Tel: (07) 3356 6655
- Gold Coast Disability Advocacy Inc.—Shop 6 18 Ferry Street (65.49 km) 4211 Nerang, QLD; (07) 5564 0355
- Independent Advocacy In The Tropics Inc.—Office 2/179-181 Ross River Road Mundingburra, QLD; Tel: (07) 4725 2505
- Ipswich Regional Advocacy Services Inc.—40 South St, Ipswich QLD 4305; Tel: (07) 3281 5409
- Mackay Advocacy Inc.—78 Victoria Street, Mackay, QLD; Tel: (07) 49578710
- Queenslanders With Disability Network Inc.—338 Turbot Street, Spring Hill, QLD; Tel: (07) 3252 8566
- Rights In Action Inc.—Ground Floor, Professional House, 88 Abbott St, Cairns, QLD; Tel: (07) 4031 7377
- Speaking Up For You Inc.—The Precinct, Unit F2, 1st Floor, 12 Browning St, West End, QLD; Tel: (07) 3255 3638
- Spinal Life Australia Ltd.—109 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba, QLD; Tel: 1300 774 625
- Synapse Australia Ltd.—Level 1/262 Montague Rd, West End, QLD; Tel: 1800 673 074
- TASC National Ltd.—223 Hume Street, Toowoomba, QLD; Tel: 1300 008 272
- Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia Limited—121 Copperfield Street, Geebung, QLD; Tel: 1800 818 338
These services are available until 30 June 2021.
Advocacy Support to help access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Advocacy support is also available for people with disability (and their supporters) who are about to start the access and registration phases of the NDIS. Queenslanders with a Disability Network have peer advocates available to assist people who are yet to enter the NDIS. Find out about the support and how to access it.
National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP)
The National Disability Advocacy Program also offers people with disability access to government-funded advocacy agencies.
People with disability, carers and their families can use the NDAP Provider Finder to search for advocacy agencies funded by the Australian Government.