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Systemic advocacy projects seeking input in WA

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14/06/2019

In an effort to deliver a coordinated and well-informed approach to systemic advocacy, NDS is working with its partners on the Disability Coalition (WA) and others to address key systemic barriers affecting people with disability.

The WA Department of Communities provided 12 months of funding to five systemic advocacy projects to identify and address systemic issues affecting people with disability across the following range of domains.

Systemic issues with housing for people with disability

The Accessing a Home project, led by Carers WA, aims to identify and address barriers people with disability face when seeking adequate, accessible, affordable and safe homes.

Carers WA has partnered with Foundation Housing to undertake this work, which will:

  1. Consult with people with disability and their families and carers to determine and detail their experiences of accessing suitable housing in Western Australia; and
  2. Identify opportunities for reform and advocate for changes to the system to address the barriers identified.

People with disability and their carers are at the core of the project and are seeking feedback on experiences in seeking, gaining and maintaining a home.

There are several ways people with disability, family carers or service providers can get involved:

Further details are available on the Carers WA webpage.

Systemic issues for people with disability in the education system

Developmental Disability WA is leading this project focused on understanding the benefits of providing independent support to Parents and Educators during meetings and other situations in schools where adjustments to accommodate disability are being negotiated. One-to-one advocacy is being provided to families in WA with a child with disability, and data is being collected on the issues addressed by families and schools.

A survey has been sent to parents asking about having someone attend meetings with them for support, whether this is family, friend, therapist or a professional advocate.

A further survey is in development for educators (teachers and principals). This will collect their observations about the benefits of parents having the support of an independent party in negotiations. Case examples are being collected and a workshop will be developed to present issues and develop solutions. Finally, a report will be made to the Minister with recommendations for systemic improvements.

Systemic issues for Aboriginal people with disability and the justice system

The main purpose of the Aboriginal Disability Justice project is to help reduce the overall representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the WA criminal justice system who have either a cognitive and/or mental health impairments.

Led by the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre, this work is being done in conjunction with community members, service providers and relevant agencies and government departments. It is also reviewing the effectiveness of existing strategies and programs across WA. If required, new processes will be developed in conjunction with the community, local agencies and other key stakeholders..

People are encouraged to share their experiences and provide input on this issue to help identify areas that need to be addressed. Alternatively, people may wish to be involved in supporting this work at local a community level.

For more details about how to get involved in your local area or to provide feedback, please contact the lead project officer, Noel Johnstone, on 0447 066 103 or at .

Systemic issues with the NDIS

The National Disability Transition and Interface Issues project will gather the experiences of individuals, families and carers as the scheme rolls out in WA. The issues and concerns raised will be prioritised by a group of participants using co-design to provide recommendations to the State Minister for Disability Services to raise at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

The project, led by People with Disability WA, will also provide submissions to the Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and directly to the National Disability Insurance Agency to address systemic and policy issues.

If you have an NDIS experience to share, you can participate in this survey. If you have questions or would like to share your story another way, please contact Anne Livingston at PWdWA on 08 9420 7279.

Systemic issues for people with disability and mental health

The Inclusion for Mental Health Project is looking at systemic change strategies to improve mental health outcomes for people with disabilities (including psychosocial disability).

The project seeks to engage with people who experience emotional and psychological distress to understand their concerns around efforts to improve their mental wellbeing.

The project is keen to get an understanding from people on:

  • their understanding of mental wellbeing and how to achieve and maintain it;
  • what helps them achieve good mental wellbeing and what makes it difficult;
  • what support they currently access;
  • what they would like to access; and
  • what might assist them or their carer to achieve positive mental wellbeing.

People interested in participating in focus groups and co-design opportunities to improve systems to achieve good mental wellbeing should contact Anabelle May at or on 0467 932 277.

The Disability Coalition members share a common commitment to partnering across these projects to identify the systemic issues, generate solutions and support the implementation of effective implement strategies.

By leveraging the existing strengths of each organisation and their memberships, the group aims to achieve a cross-sector approach to improving systemic issues for people with disability in Western Australia.

For more information from NDS, please contact Danielle Loizou-Lake on 08 9208 9821.

Contact information
Danielle Loizou-Lake, Project Lead - Workforce and NDIS Transition, 08 9208 9821,