Understanding Your Rights: Disability Advocacy and Legal Resources in South Australia

Understanding Your Rights: Disability Advocacy and Legal Resources in South Australia

Navigating the world of disability rights and services can be challenging, but it’s crucial for South Australians living with disabilities and those who support us, to be well-informed. This guide aims to shed light on the legal rights, advocacy services, and resources available, ensuring we can access the support and respect we deserve.


Legal Rights for People with Disabilities in SA

Disability rights in South Australia are based on the Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (SA). This Act is important in promoting the rights of people with disabilities, ensuring we have the same opportunities as everyone else. It emphasises the importance of access to services, community participation, and the elimination of discrimination.

Additionally, the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in many areas of public life, including employment, education, and accessing services. This Act makes it unlawful to treat someone unfairly because of their disability.


Advocacy Services: Your Voice Matters

Advocacy services play a vital role in supporting individuals with disabilities to voice their concerns and exercise their rights. These services can help you understand your rights, make choices, and ensure your voice is heard. Here are some of the most active ones:

  1. Disability Advocacy and Complaints Service of South Australia (DACSSA): DACSSA offers independent advocacy for individuals with a disability, helping to resolve issues relating to disability service provision, discrimination, and other rights-related concerns.
  2. Purple Orange: Purple Orange provides advocacy through various projects and initiatives aimed at policy development and community inclusion.


Accessing Legal Resources

Legal resources are available to help individuals with disabilities understand their rights and seek justice when those rights are infringed upon.

  1. Legal Services Commission of South Australia: Offering free legal advice, this commission is a valuable resource for understanding your rights and exploring legal options.
  2. Public Trustee: The Public Trustee offers services including the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, and administration of deceased estates and trusts, important for planning and safeguarding the future.
  3. South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT): SACAT deals with disputes, reviews, and decisions related to various areas, including guardianship and administration for people with disabilities.


Government Programs and Initiatives

The South Australian government has several programs and initiatives designed to support people with disabilities.

  1. Equal Opportunity SA: This office promotes equality of opportunity, prevents certain kinds of discrimination and helps South Australians participate in our community.
  2. Safework SA: South Australia’s workplace health and safety regulator, which offers employed people advice and education on work health and safety, including investigations of workplace incidents.
  3. SA’s Disability Inclusion Plan: Aimed at creating a more inclusive South Australia, this plan focuses on improving access and inclusion in areas like employment, transport, and community participation.


Community and Online Resources

Several community groups and online resources can provide support and information:

  1. Independent Living Centre (ILC): Offers advice on equipment, technology, and techniques to help people with disabilities lead more independent lives.
  2. Carers SA: Provides services and support for family members and friends who care for someone with a disability.
  3. Disability Information Service: A hub for information on services, equipment, and community resources.


Getting Involved and Staying Informed

Staying informed and involved in the disability community is key to advocating for your rights. You can join disability advocacy groups, participate in community meetings, or follow disability rights organisations on social media. These platforms are not only a source of information but also a community space for shared experiences and support.


We all have rights

Remember, as South Australians with disabilities, we have rights and there are numerous resources and services designed to protect those rights and provide support. Whether you’re seeking legal advice or advocacy services, or just need someone to guide you through understanding your rights, help is available.

Embracing these resources can empower you to lead a life defined not by disability, but by ability, choice, and dignity. 


VIVA Mutual’s Support Centre team is always available to share our expertise and experience for the benefit of Support Coordinators, NDIS participants and those who support them. Many of us live with disabilities ourselves and/or have family members with NDIS Plans too, so we know what we’re talking about.

For a confidential chat with one of VIVA Mutual’s understanding and supportive folks, please call 08 8877 8000 or send us an email via admin@vivamutual.org

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