Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Additional support for disability advocacy

Australian Government funded disability advocacy agencies across the country will each receive $15,000 to support the strengthening of advocacy for people with disability.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas today announced the one-off payment at the adorABLE Exhibition launch in Hobart coordinated by local advocacy organisation, Speak Out Association of Tasmania.

Speak Out Association of Tasmania is one of 59 advocacy agencies that will receive the $15,000 boost under the Australian Government’s National Disability Advocacy Program.

“From July 1, the Australian Government will introduce new quality assurance measures to ensure the rights of vulnerable people are safeguarded,” Senator McLucas said.

“We are providing this extra funding to advocacy agencies to assist them in preparing for the new Quality Assurance System and achieve certification against Disability Advocacy Standards.

“Agencies may use these funds for improvement activities, to help build and maintain quality partnerships with other agencies and services, and to support staff training opportunities.

“We have also provided agencies with a number of tools to assist them, including the new Quality Assurance toolkit and workshops.

“This will help advocacy agencies to provide advocacy support that is easy to access, responds flexibly to the changing environment and the needs of people with disability.

“Organisations like the Speak Out Association of Tasmania have been doing great work right across the country supporting people with disability and giving them a voice in the community.

The National Disability Advocacy Program aims to promote and protect the rights of people with disability and ensure their ability to participate in the community.

The Australian Government has a strong commitment to the disability advocacy sector, and in 2011-12 invested $16.38 million under the National Disability Advocacy Program for the delivery of disability advocacy.