Advocacy and Legislation

People with disability have rights. Understanding these rights is important for people with disability and the people who care for them to ensure that they are afforded the same opportunities as every other citizen.

Knowing more about the legal framework around disability is essential for championing the rights of people with disability. If you are a person with disability, a carer, or someone who works in the areas of developing policies or services this section is important for you.

Advocacy and rights
Legislation and legal framework

Advocacy and Rights in the ACT

Official Visitor for Disability Services

The Official Visitor for Disability Services is a monitoring and complaints option in the ACT for people with disability who access supported accommodation including residential age care. To learn more about the Official Visitor for Disability Services see our Videos and Factsheets.

To contact the Official Visitor email disabilityofficialvisitor@act.gov.au or call (02) 6207 6560.

ACT Ombudsman

Investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an ACT Government directorate or agency.
More information on ACT Ombudsman External Link

Contact (02) 6276 0111 or complaints hotline: 1300 362 072

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT)

The ACAT consolidates 16 jurisdictions and tribunals including Administrative Appeals Tribunal;Discrimination Tribunal;Guardianship and Management of Property Tribunal;Mental Health Tribunal; and Residential Tenancies Tribunal. 
More information on ACT Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal External Link Contact (02) 6207 1740

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ADEC (Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities)

ADEC External Linkprovides advocacy, information, referral, education, training and consultancy.

Aged and Carer Advocacy Service Inc

Aged and Carer Advocacy Service Inc - an independent advocacy organisation helping people with disabilities, older people and their carers.
More information on Aged and Carer Advocacy Service Inc External Link Contact (02) 6242 5060

Advocacy for Inclusion Incorporated

Advocacy for Inclusion is committed to a society in which people with disabilities live inclusive and meaningful lives as part of the community, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  
More information on Advocacy for Inclusion Incorporated External Link

Contact (02) 6286 9422

Carer Advocacy Program Run by Carers ACT

The program provides individual and family advocacy on a one-to-one basis to resolve difficult or complex matters, negotiating the complexity and bureaucracy of service systems, and concerns relating to the caring role.  Carers will also be supported to develop the skills to self advocate where appropriate.
More information on Carer Advocacy Program Run by Carers ACT External Link

Contact 1800 242 636

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Elder Abuse

The Elder Abuse Information and Referral Phone Line provides support, information and referral to services that may assist older people in abusive situations.

Contact (02) 6205 3535

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Human Rights Commission (HRC)

The HRC encourages and assists in the resolution of complaints, assisting users and providers of disability services, health services, services for children and young people and services for older people to make improvements in the provision of services.

Mary Durkin is the Health Services Commissioner and the Disability & Community Services Commissioner

Alasdair Roy is the Children & Young People Commissioner.

Helen Watchirs is the Human Rights & Discrimination Commissioner

More information on Human Rights Commission External Link Contact (02) 6205 2222 TTY (02) 6205 1666

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People with Disabilities ACT

PWD ACT represents, promotes and supports the collective interests of people with disabilities.
More information on People with Disabilites ACT External Link

Contact (02) 6286 4223

Women with Disabilities ACT

Women With Disabilities ACT is a peer support and systemic advocacy group of women with disabilities who live in the ACT and region.
More information on Women with Disabilities ACT External Link

Contact (02) 6291 6842

Public Advocate of the ACT (PA)

Promotes and individually represents the rights and interests of people with who are not able to represent or protect themselves including children and young people, adults with a mental illness or impaired decision making ability who require protection from abuse, exploitation or neglect.
More information on Public Advocate of the ACT External Link
Contact (02) 6207 0707 or email: pa@act.gov.au

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National Bodies

Children with Disability Australia

Children with Disability Australia (CDA) is the national peak body which represents children and young people (aged 0-25) with disability and their families.
More information on Children with Disability Australia External Link

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by a Commonwealth Government department or agency, including nursing homes and hostels.
More information on Commonwealth Ombudsman External Link Contact (02) 6276 0111  Complaints hotline: 1300 362 072

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Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline

An Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with disabilities using government funded services. Allegations are referred to the appropriate authority for investigation.
More information on Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline External Link

Human Rights and Equal Oportunity Commission

HREOC resolves complaints of discrimination or breaches of human rights under federal laws.
Phone: (02) 9284 9888 TTY: 1800 620241 (toll free)General enquiries: 1300 369 711
More information on Human Rights and Equal Oportunity Commission External Link

National Welfare Rights Network

National Welfare Rights Network provides advice and assistance to individuals to ensure they can exercise their rights, fulfil their obligations and maximise their entitlements under the Australian Social Security system.
More information on national welfare rights network External Link

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Office of the Privacy Commissioner (PC)

The Commissioner provides protection for personal information about you that is handled by federal and ACT government agencies, private sector health service providers and some small businesses.
More information on Office of the Privacy Commissioner External Link

Contact 1300 363 992 TTY: 1800 620 241

Legislation and Legal framework External Link

Other Links

Advocacy for Children

How to advocate successfully for services and information you need when your child has severe disabilities.
More information on advocacy for children External Link

Early Childhood Intervention Australia

Early Childhood Intervention Australia provides a national focus and forum, promotes the public profile of Early Childhood Intervention, facilitates effective liaison and advocacy in the community, and fosters quality information and service provision.
More information on Early Childhood Intervention Australia External Link

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Legislation and Agreements

ACT

ACT legislation register External Link
The ACT Health Records (Privacy & Access)Act 1997 External Link
Children and Young People Act 2008 External Link
Disability Services Act 1991 (ACT) External Link
Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) External Link
Human Rights Act 2004 External Link

National

National Disability Agreement (NDA) is an agreement between the Australian and State/Territory Governments that sets the national framework to fund, monitor and support quality services for people with a disability.
More information on National Disability Agreement

Australian Law Online External LinkEducation Act 2004 External Link
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 External Link Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 External LinkDisability Discrimination Act 1992 [Cth]External Link
Review of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 External Link
Disability Services Act 1991External Link Transport Standards External Link

International

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The convention is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional integration organizations. The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.
Latest information on Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities External Link

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child External Link

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