The federal government is asking Not for Profits to provide input into the review of the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) to ensure the organisation meets the needs of people with disabilities.
The NDAP funds agencies that provide advocacy services to people with disabilities.
The government said the review is part of an ongoing process of improvement ahead of the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Assistant Minister for Disability Services Jane Prentice said that the NDAP has been largely unchanged since it was introduced in the 1980s.
“The National Disability Advocacy Program provides people with access to advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights,” Prentice said.
“This review will ensure the program adapts to provide services to the best possible standard in a changing disability environment, including the introduction of the NDIS.
“We want to hear from all stakeholders, including people with disability, the various advocates, disability peaks and human rights organisations to find out what is currently working well and what might be improved.”
Therese Sands, co-CEO of People with Disability Australia (PWDA), said the organisation would be participating in the review but expressed concern that the review would be an opportunity to limit the role of independent advocacy groups like the NDAP.
“We have been emphasising investment in independent advocacy groups,” Sands said.
“Independent organisations play a critical role for people with disability to engage in all types of services. Independent advocacy groups act as an early warning system for ones that are about to fail.
The government said the new NDAP will be developed after consultations with the NDIS and the Department of Social Services, as well as feedback from the review.
To have your say, make a submission at www.engage.dss.gov.au before 7 June 2016.
Read more at http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/04/disability-program-review-calls-public-input/