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Independent – Local – Free

Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS) is a non-Government, not-for-profit, registered charity that assists people with disability (including family members and carers), living in North East Victoria and Southern NSW.

We provide free and independent advocacy services to ensure equality of rights and increased integration into the community.

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is speaking, acting or writing to promote, protect and defend the human rights of people with disability. Click here for a detailed Advocacy video on Youtube.

How can RDAS
assist you?

We do this by:

  • Protecting and promoting the rights of people with disability
  • Providing information on your rights
  • Assist you to identify and address instances of discrimination
  • Assist you to make a complaint if you are not happy with a service you have received
  • Assist you to speak out and defend your rights and interests
  • Assist you with reviews and appeals

What we won’t do!

  • Make decisions for you
  • Provide case management/support work
  • Act as a mediator
  • Provide counselling
  • Provide legal advice
  • Provide medical advice
  • Provide financial counselling
  • Provide recommendations for professional services

Where another agency or organisation is more suited to support an individual based on their issue or requested support, RDAS will provide appropriate referrals. If you reside outside of North East Victoria or Southern NSW and are looking for Advocacy support, please visit the Ask Izzy website to find your nearest provider.

RDAS provides a range of programs, services and activities which empower, champion and celebrate people with disability.

These include:

  • Individual Advocacy
  • NDIS Appeals
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Systemic Advocacy
  • Community Education

Individual Advocacy

Individual Advocacy is about standing up for the rights of someone who is being treated unfairly. RDAS can provide short to medium term, issue-based advocacy support to people with disability who have serious and urgent issues.

Our skilled advocates support hundreds of people each year to resolve issues and improve their quality of life. Our support can include attending meetings, writing letters, making phone calls and much more.

NDIS Appeals

If you are unhappy with a decision made by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), you can request an internal review. If you disagree with the internal review decision, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to conduct an external review (appeal).

The types of decisions that can be reviewed include, but are not limited to whether you are eligible for the NDIS, or if supports have not been approved in your plan.

How can RDAS assist you?

  • Assist you to lodge internal and external reviews
  • Assist you to understand the review process
  • Gather documents needed for the review
  • Assist you to apply for legal assistance if required
  • Provide you with advice and skills so that you can better represent yourself at the AAT, if you choose to do so; or
  • Attend AAT conferences and hearings with you, and help you in putting your case to the AAT

PLEASE NOTE:
RDAS staff cannot provide legal advice or legal representation.

Self-Advocacy

RDAS can provide one-off and ongoing training to help you to advocate for yourself. Our monthly Self-Advocacy Inclusive Learning Sessions (SAILS) program helps you to speak up for yourself, be assertive and develop personal skills and self-confidence. Follow this link for more information.

Systemic Advocacy

Systemic Advocacy is about social change. It addresses discrimination affecting many people with disabilities by advocating for change to legislation, policies, and practices.

Systemic advocacy includes lobbying politicians, campaigning, and public awareness raising to build an inclusive community. If there is a policy or issue affecting a group of people, RDAS has a role in seeking solutions to these issues for everyone.

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Two guys hugging, smiling and taking a selfie

Community Education

RDAS runs community information sessions across for people with disability, families, carers, educational institutes and other community organisations. We provide information about self-advocacy, human rights, discrimination, NDIS access, reviews and other issues.

Our Service Region

Looking for Advocacy Support?

Call us on 1800 250 292, email intake@rdas.org.au or submit an online intake form available here

All children and young people that access RDAS services have the right to feel and be safe and to be treated with respect. RDAS is committed to Child Safety and providing a safe and welcoming environment for children and young people