The National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) provides people with disability access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights enabling community participation.
The policy and implementation of the NDAP will be guided by the principles and objectives of key legislation, conventions, agreements and frameworks, including but not limited to: the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the National Disability Strategy; the National Disability Agreement, the National Disability Advocacy Framework; and the Disability Services Act 1986 (DSA).
NDAP disability advocacy agencies receive funding under the DSA. The DSA and its associated Principles and Objectives have a focus on outcomes for people with disability. All disability advocacy agencies funded under the NDAP must comply with the DSA and the applicable Standards
In 2011 the Australian Parliament passed amendments to the Disability Services Act 1986, as part of the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (SSOLA Bill), to mandate the introduction of a Quality Assurance system for NDAP.
NDAP Program Guidelines
Program Guidelines Documentation
The following is an outline of the components of the Program Guidelines and the purpose of each.
- Part A: Services and Support for People with Disability - Program Guidelines provides an overview of the Services for People with Disability Program, of which the NDAP is an Activity.
- Part B: Information for Applicants provides details on the standard conditions and procedures involved in selection processes conducted by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Part B is a standardised FaHCSIA document.
Please note: There is currently no selection process for the NDAP.
- Part C: Program Guidelines for the NDAP provides specific information on the NDAP.
Aims and objectives
The objective of the NDAP is that:
- People with disability have access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights enabling community participation.
The target group for advocacy support provided by NDAP agencies, as required under section 8 of the DSA, consists of people with disability that:
- ‘is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of such impairments;
- is permanent or likely to be permanent; and
- results in:
- a substantially reduced capacity of the person for communication, learning or mobility; and
- the need for ongoing support services.
Definition and Models of Disability Advocacy
In broad terms, advocacy for people with disability can be defined as speaking, acting or writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the interests of a disadvantaged person or group, in order to promote, protect and defend the welfare of and justice for either the person or group by:
- Acting in a partisan manner (i.e. being on their side and no one else's);
- Being primarily concerned with their fundamental needs;
- Remaining loyal and accountable to them in a way which is empathic and vigorous(whilst respecting the rights of others); and
- Enduring duty of care at all times.
Approaches to disability advocacy can be categorised into six broad models being:
- Individual advocacy
- Citizen advocacy
- Family advocacy
- Self advocacy
- Legal advocacy
- Systemic advocacy.
NDAP agencies may be categorised into generalist or specialist agencies.
- Generalist agencies provide advocacy support to people with any type of disability or cultural background.
- Specialist agencies may provide advocacy support to people with disability:
- with a specific type of disability
- from Diverse Cultural and Linguistic backgrounds (DCALB)
- from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) backgrounds.
Agencies are funded to provide disability advocacy support in specific geographic areas. There are two types of geographic coverage:
- Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Disability Advocacy and Access Section
The Department's Disability and Carers Programs Branch includes a 'Disability Advocacy and Access' Section that oversees the changes to the NDAP and works with the Department's state and territory offices in the ongoing management of this program.
The Disability Advocacy and Access Section Manager can be contacted via:
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs,
Disability and Carers Programs Branch,
Tuggeranong Office Park, Box 7576
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610
- Email: Disability Advocacy - FaHCSIA (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Further information about who in FaHCSIA is working in the advocacy area can be found at the Who's Who of FaHCSIA webpage.