Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability - Independent adviser to the WA Minister for Disability Services - Keeping government informed

National Disability Insurance Scheme in Western Australia

Discussion Paper: Information and Advocacy

Why is information and advocacy such an important part of the NDIS in Western Australia?

Providing access to information and advocacy can help ensure that people with disability are able to fulfil their potential and achieve their goals through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Access to information and advocacy will enable people with disability to act, either directly or through an advocate, from a position of increased knowledge and empowerment when planning and purchasing their NDIS supports. It can help to protect those people with the most significant barriers to communicating their needs, and ensure them choice and control over their lives.

How has information and advocacy been provided under the NDIS in Western Australia?

Over the past three years the NDIS has evolved through various trials around the country and in Western Australia (WA) we have seen the approaches of both the National Disability Insurance Agency trial in the Perth Hills and the WA NDIS trial in the Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana. In all trial areas individuals have had access to the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) via a range of providers, and the following key goals of providing advocacy have been universally applied to:

  • Help people with disability to build capacity to identify their own needs and goals,
  • Ensure that people with disability understand their rights and responsibilities,
  • Assist people with disability to understand how their decisions will affect their life, and
  • Provide support with reviews and participation in the review process.
Advocates and advocacy organisations have also worked systemically to provide feedback, challenge decisions and improve systems to help build a NDIS that delivers on its original intent.

What has been learnt about the provision of information and advocacy from the NDIS trials?

We now have two years of feedback from people with disability, family members, carers and advocates about the role of advocacy in NDIS. What we have heard is that:

  • Those with intellectual and cognitive disability remain vulnerable as they may have less capacity to advocate for themselves, and require support with decision-making,
  • Access to diverse and culturally appropriate advocates for people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, remote or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities remains limited,
  • Those unable to advocate on their own behalf have an increased reliance on the planning process and people involved in the planning process to capture their goals and needs, and
  • Many people with disability do not understand their rights to appeal, and need access to information about the appeals process.

What do you think?

  1. What information and advocacy services are currently working well?
  2. How can information and advocacy further improve choice and control?
  3. What areas of improvement could you suggest?
  4. Do you have any other comments or concerns about access to information and advocacy?

You may provide feedback by completing a short survey here.

If you require the discussion paper in an alternative format or would like an alternative way to provide feedback please contact the Secretariat:

Telephone: 1800 857 354
Post: NDIS in WA
c/o PO Box 494
West Perth WA 6872

This discussion paper is available in Word, PDF and Easy Read version for download [DOCX 63 KB] [PDF 268 KB] [Easy Read DOCX 690 KB] [Easy Read PDF 418 KB].

Feedback on this discussion topic is due by Friday 16 September 2016.