Access to disability advocacy services, particularly for First Nations people, will benefit from a $4.5 million in funding that includes a capacity boost to the Disability Advocacy Support Helpline.   The Helpline is a pilot phone-based individual advocacy service accessed through the Disability Gateway, which started a staged roll-out from November 2022.

According to Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth, almost 40 per cent of First Nations people report they have a disability. “The additional funding will assist the service to respond to expected demand, now that the Helpline has achieved national coverage,” she said.

The Advocacy Law Alliance, which delivers the Disability Advocacy Support Helpline, will receive an additional $2.7 million in funding, which brings their total funding to $5.6 million over three years.

“Beyond the Royal Commission, we are committed to having a long-term model for disability advocacy, and the additional funding for these pilots will help us to improve access and inform future delivery of services. “These initiatives also help us to meet objectives under the National Disability Advocacy Framework, which was endorsed by Disability Ministers on 21 April 2023,” the minister said.

More information about the National Disability Advocacy Program and the National Disability Advocacy Framework is available from the Department of Social Services website.