Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Olympic Advocacy Service up and running

The Commonwealth funded Olympic/Paralympic Disability Advocacy Service has proved highly successful leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony today said the service had been in place since August and would continue providing an advocacy service for people with disabilities, their families and carers over the Games period.

“Although the Olympics and Paralympics provide a great deal of entertainment and excitement, it is also a time when many people with disabilities can suffer considerable inconvenience,” Mr Anthony said.

“With large numbers of people converging on the city, people may find disruptions to their regular services, or have difficulty moving around the city.

“While many will find this situation annoying, the ramifications for people with disabilities could be far greater.

“People with disabilities, must have somewhere to turn if they need help over the Games period, which is why the service has been set up.”

Mr Anthony said the service is also important for overseas and interstate visitors with a disability, their families, friends and carers.

With experience and expertise in advocacy, People with Disabilities NSW is providing the service, with the Multicultural Disability Advocacy Service and the Disability Discrimination Legal Centre of NSW will act as advisers on legal and cultural issues.

The Disability Advocacy Service is part of a network that includes a Disability Information Service, an Access Hotdesk at Games sites and Call Centres, providing information and advice, links to other services, short-term individual advocacy and some legal advice to its callers.

“The partnership with the Olympic Coordination Authority has successfully established an innovative support network of disability services,” Mr Anthony said.

During these two weeks of the Olympic Games the Service is offering extended opening hours from 8 am to 8 pm during weekdays, as well as coverage on weekends, and can be contacted on 02 9319 6023, or Free Call 1800 158 182.