POLICY & ADVOCACY
Advice, change for good, social justice
WHAT WE DO
We can help resolve specific issues that impact your independence
Our policy and advocacy experts can help you resolve issues that impact your independence or ability to live the life you choose. We have experience in areas such as NDIS, equipment, and modifications, employment opportunities, pensions, personal care, access and much more.
We have staff with lived experience of disability on our Policy and Advocacy team, so they understand the challenges you face.
For further information or to be contacted by someone from the Policy & Advocacy Team, kindly complete the Policy & Advocacy Request Form.
We are available for those who need support and guidance for individual, systemic, family and self-advocacy matters. Read more about what advocacy is right for you.
HOW WE HELP YOU
Who can access the service
SCIA’s advocacy team offers independent advice and support to assist with resolving issues that are preventing you from living a fulfilled life. We are constantly fighting for inclusivity and change for people with disability, their family members or carers. Please note: We do not offer legal representation.
Seeks to uphold the rights and interests of people with all disability on a one to one basis by addressing instances of discrimination, abuse and neglect.
Individual advocates work with people on a short term and issue specific basis.
The policy work we do do is broad and covers national, state and local issues in any domain that affects the lives of people with spinal cord injury and other disabilities. Any policy decision or regulation or law that has a negative impact on the lives of the disability community, be it access or inclusion or participation, is likely to have an influence on the work that the team do counter this. This comes in many forms such as lobbying decision-makers and funders (government and non-government) to pursue changes.
Governments often hold inquiries where significant policy decisions or changes or reforms are being considered such as is happening at the moment with the proposed implementation of independent assessments within the NDIS. In response, we write submissions to such inquiries to highlight our concerns, how things can be improved, and what impacts decisions are likely to have on the people we represent. SCIA is operating to create change and influence key decision-makers to have as broad an impact on all people with disability. This includes attending public hearings as expert witnesses; writing to politicians and government departments and agencies; holding public office bearers to account when decisions are made that negatively impact people’s lives.
Representative advocacy is a newly funded advocacy service stream through the New South Wales government under the Disability Advocacy Futures Program (DAFP) which came about from the 2019 review into disability advocacy by the Ageing and Disability Commissioner.
Representative Advocacy activities will be conducted by disability representative organisations focused on a defined cohort of people with specific disabilities and will be distinct from individual or systemic advocacy. In SCIA’s case, cohort is defined (but not limited to) spinal cord injury and neurological disabilities/conditions.
Our Representative Advocacy team is based in Sydney, Wollongong and the Hunter region in New South Wales. We hold Online Network Forums, face-to-face advocacy catch ups and Advocacy Education Workshops. Whether you are a person with a disability, family member, carer, allied health or service provider we want to empower you to be your best advocate. Register your interest in our Representative Advocacy education sessions, workshops and meet ups..
81% of clients supported through individual advocacy at SCIA tell us they reached their desired outcome or an alternative but suitable outcome.
[SCIA Impact Survey 2022]
Support and Advocacy Service
SCIA is able to assist icare lifetime care clients with support and advocacy for any issues you may be experiencing. We are one of three advocacy organisations contracted to support icare clients. Please let us know if you have any concerns or issues with the supports you are receiving from icare.