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NDIS Practice Standard 1: Rights and Responsibilities #

1.0 Purpose #

iSeekSupport recognises the importance of ensuring the participant’s right to use an advocate or representative of their choice is maintained. All participants, both actual and potential, can select and involve an advocate or a chosen representative to participate or act on their behalf at any time.

2.0 Scope #

This policy applies to all participants, staff, volunteers and stakeholders.

3.0 Definition #

Advocacy is the active support for a cause or position, and, in this context, it is an expression of support for a person who may find it difficult to speak for him or herself. It may include achieving social justice, improving a person’s well-being, preventing abusive and discriminatory treatment, or stopping unjust and unfair treatment from meeting their fundamental needs and interests.

Below is a list of six types of advocacies:

4.0 Policy #

All participants have the right to use an advocate of their choice. This advocate can represent their interests and speak on their behalf regarding any aspect of the supports or services they receive.

Our staff will work cooperatively with the participant’s nominated advocate and show the same respect to the advocate as shown to the participant. When participants cannot advocate for themselves, our organisation’s policy ensures that their interests are represented and supported using a substitute decision-maker.


4.1 Advocacy principles #

  • iSeekSupport will ensure that all staff receive training in the use of advocates.
  • iSeekSupport will maintain printed material on advocacy and advocacy services.
  • iSeekSupport will maintain local advocacy resource/contact lists.
  • iSeekSupport will work cooperatively with any nominated advocate chosen by the participant and show the same respect to the advocate, as is shown to the participant.
  • iSeekSupport will utilise a governance system to enable iSeekSupport to identify where a participant needs advocacy.

5.0 Procedure #

5.1 Initial assessment (participant without an advocate) #

  • Discuss the participant’s right to appoint an advocate at any time and to have an advocate present to speak on their behalf.
  • Provide the participant with advocacy information.
  • Explain to the participant their rights regarding advocacy as per the iSeekSupport’s Service Agreement and Charter of Rights and the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators 2021.
  • Advise the participant that if they wish to utilise advocacy services, ISeekSupport can assist them in contacting any of these services.
  • Provide the Authority to Act as an Advocate Form to the participant if they decide to utilise the services of an advocate. The completed and signed Form is stored in the participant’s file.
  • Provide the Third-Party Information Release Consent Form to the participant. The completed and signed Form is stored in the participant’s file.
  • Discuss and document any specific communication issues or protocols between the service and the advocate (email, phone, or other methods).
  • Inform the participant that they can withdraw approval for an advocate to act on their behalf at any time.

5.2 Initial assessment (participant with advocate/representative) #

Before initial assessment #
  • Ensure during initial contact with the participant that they are informed of their right to an advocate and record the advocate’s details if they have one.
  • Determine the best means of communication (refer to Preferred Method of Communication Policy)
  • Advise the participant of the need to complete the Authority to Act as an Advocate Form and provide the appropriate Form to the participant.
  • Contact the nominated advocate to ensure they are aware they are nominated and confirm that they agree to advocate.
  • Place the completed Authority to Act as an Advocate Form in the participant’s file.
  • Ensure the potential participant is aware of their advocacy rights, including the right to have an advocate present for all assessments, meetings and communication between themselves and ISeekSupport Pty Ltd.
  • Schedule the participant’s initial assessment at a time and date to allow the advocate to be present.
  • Arrange for an identified advocate to be present at the assessment.
At initial assessment #
  • Request the completion of the Authority to Act as an Advocate Form if it has not yet been provided. Explain to the participant that the Form must be completed for ISeekSupport to recognise the nominated person as the participant’s advocate formally.
  • Gather information about the advocate, such as contact details and methodology.
  • Explain that the participant has the right to change their advocate at any time. Changes should be documented in writing by the participant using the Authority to Act as an Advocate Form.

5.3 Working with advocates #

  • Identify the existence of an advocate in the participant’s file.
  • Discuss and document any specific communication issues or protocols to be used between the service and the advocate.
  • Communicate with a participant’s advocate and involve them in goal setting, planning service responses, and referrals for additional or alternative services.
  • Provide the advocate with ongoing information regarding the health and wellbeing of the participant, as agreed.
  • Ensure that all on-call workers are aware of the participant’s advocate.

5.4 Continuing work with advocates #

  • During reassessments, visits, or meetings, provide participants with written and verbal information that reminds them of their right to have (or change) an advocate.
  • Remind participants of their right to have (or change) an advocate during each annual review of services or via written communication.
  • Communicate effectively and work cooperatively with advocates.
  • Refer participants assessed as ‘not able to manage their service’ (and who have no advocate) to the NSW Department of Justice, Public Guardian, as appropriate.

Note: A web link accessing disability advocacy services is available. As a postcode, town or suburb is required to be entered to access services, ISeekSupport will guide and assist participants. To access, go to Disability Advocacy Finder on the Department of Social Services website.

7.0 References #

Australian Centre for Disability Law – disabilitylaw.org.au

Autism Asperger’s Advocacy Australia (A4) – a4.org.au

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand – asan-au.org

Blind Citizens Australia – bca.org.au

Brain Injury Australia – braininjuryaustralia.org.au

Children and Young People with Disability Australia – cyda.org.au

Deaf Australia – deafaustralia.org.au

Deafness Forum of Australia – deafnessforum.org.au

Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) – da.org.au

First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) – fpdn.org.au

Human Rights Council of Australia – hrca.org.au

Inclusion Australia (National Council on Intellectual Disability – NCID)


Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) – idrs.org.au

Mental Health Australia – mhaustralia.org

National Disability Services – nds.org.au

National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) – neda.org.au

People With Disability Australia – pwd.org.au

Physical Disability Australia (PDA) – pda.org.au

Short Statured People of Australia – sspa.org.au

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) – wwda.org.au

8.1 New South Wales advocacy providers #


Ability Advocacy Service (AIAS NSW) – abilityadvocacy.org.au

Aboriginal Disability Network NSW (ADN NSW) – adnnsw.org.au

Action for People with Disabilities Incorporated – actionadvocacy.org.au

Advocacy for Inclusion – advocacyforinclusion.org

Australian Centre for Disability Law – disabilitylaw.org.au

Central Coast Disability Network – Individual Advocacy Project – ccdn.com.au

DAISI Services Limited – daisi.asn.au

Deaf Society of NSW – deafsociety.org.au

Disability Advocacy (NSW) – da.org.au

Family Advocacy – family advocacy.com

Information on Disability & Education Awareness Services (IDEAS) – ideas.org.au

Illawarra Advocacy – illawarraadvocacy.org.au

Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) – idrs.org.au

Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association (MDAA) – mdaa.org.au

NSW Council for Intellectual Disability – cid.org.au

NSW Disability Advocacy Network – ndan.org.au

Penrith Disabilities Resource Centre Inc. – pdrc.org.au

People with Disabilities Australia (PWDA) – pwd.org.au

Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN) – pdcnsw.org.au

Regional Disability Advocacy – rdas.org.au

Self-Advocacy Sydney Inc – sasinc.com.au

Side by Side Advocacy Inc – sidebyside.org.au

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) – scia.org.au

Synapse Australia’s Brain Injury Organisation (NSW) – synapse.org.au

iSeekSupport Policy and Procedure – Published 09.05.2022 #

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