Friday, January 19, 2018
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Disability Rights Law Centre Networking Night with Special guest Graeme Innes

Our first event for the Disability Rights Law Centre was held on Monday 27 June. 

Patron of the Law Centre and former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, spoke to a full house at Smith's Alternative about his experiences of inclusion, advocating for himself and his new book "Finding a Way"


"Inclusion isn't going to come to us: we have to go out and get it"

Graeme spoke passionately about inclusion being everybody's responsibility, and that we would not have an inclusive society until people with disabilities are included and attitudes change. 


“The broader community works consciously and unconsciously to exclude us. Barriers are constantly erected to keep us out… and the attitude barrier, where you exclude us with the soft bigotry of low expectations.” 

 Graeme kindly took questions from the crowd which ranged from the approach to language, the use of quotas and his thoughts on accessible working environments. 


We would like to thank everyone who supported Advocacy for Inclusion on the night. We would also like to give a special mention to our Board, Nigel and his staff at Smith’s Alternative, Mel our Self-advocate, and especially Graeme Innes for his time and insight. 

You can view the entire event on youtube - 

Subscibe to our mailing list to find out about forthcoming events

Graeme Innes at Smiths Alternative


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Students supporting the voice of people with disabilities

Today is the day that we start the new project that has been under works with the Training team and Erindale College. 

We have been thinking for a while that we need to show the great achievements that self-advocate have done since being a part of the Self-Advocate’s group and courses they have completed.  These self-advocates have gained skills that have had a positive impact in their lives. We wanted to show other people disabilities, that with Self-Advocacy and Human Right skills what is possible, and that is where the students at Erindale College come into play.

We approached Erindale College Media Department if we could collaborate with them to help film past members of the Self-Advocates Group and courses, about “What Self-Advocacy means to me” (this is the working title, so it may change).  A group of Erindale students over the next month will be filming a group of members for two minutes film clips.  The year 11 and 12 students will be using this project towards their Media Studies course curriculum.  The training team will be there while filming to support both self-advocates and students.

The students, past consumers and the Training team are quite excited about this project; it will let the wider community see that Self-Advocacy skills are paramount to the success in the community and the roll on effects that having these skills can have on relationships, NDIS, and other everyday life issues. 

In doing this project will provide the students from Erindale College an understanding of Self-Advocacy, and to increase their knowledge.  So that students can use this skill in the future, in supporting people with disabilities.

We look forward to showing these films soon and I personally are looking forward to see the final clips that are created by the Self-advocates and the Erindale College students.


Photo Caption: Erindale Students from left - Ben, Zoe and Grace with Training Officer sharon

Photo Caption: Erindale Students from left - Ben, Zoe and Grace with Training Officer sharon 

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Decision Making Skills Create Strong Self-Advocates

On average we make 35 000 decisions a day (200 of them are about food!).

Decision Making is a skill we may take for granted; but for the approx. 588,700 people with an intellectual disability in Australia, many day-to-day decisions are often made for them, without them.


We believe that everyone has the ability to make their own decisions.


In our recent Submission to the Law Reform Advisory Committee, Review of Guardianship Arrangements for Adults with Disabilities in the ACT, Advocacy for Inclusion commended the four high level principles recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission for their report Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws :


·         Principle 1: The equal right to make decisions

All adults have an equal right to make decisions that affect their lives and to have those decisions respected.

·         Principle 2: Support

Persons who require support in decision-making must be provided with access to the support necessary for them to make, communicate and participate in decisions that affect their lives.

·         Principle 3: Will, preferences and rights

The will, preferences and rights of persons who may require decision-making support must direct decisions that affect their lives.

·         Principle 4: Safeguards

Laws and legal frameworks must contain appropriate and effective safeguards in relation to interventions for persons who may require decision-making support, including to prevent abuse and undue influence.


In 2009 Australia signed the international disability rights treaty (often called the CRPD), which requires countries to move away from guardianship towards methods that support people with disabilities to make their own decisions. To help achieve this, Advocacy for Inclusion has developed a unique tool that takes people through the decision making process either on their own or with support.


By stepping through the decision making process, people with disabilities can identify preferences and build skills towards independent decision making.

The SDM App recognises that the usual decision making process may involve other people that are close to you or the authority of a Guardian; so the SDM App has integrated a place to add your important people or a legal guardian.

This program does not make a decision for you but rather prompts you to consider the options and identify the risks and benefits so you can identify how you feel about a particular decision and make up your own mind.



The Supported decision making app underwent user testing from our consumer base:


“It can really help you make a decision”

“The buttons are easy to use”


The Supported Decision Making App is available now in the App Store for $9.99


Thanks to the Snow Foundation, Hands Across Canberra, and all the contributors to our Chuffed campaign for the funds to create the Supported Decision Making App


Want see an Android version of the Supported Decision Making App? You can contribute by donating.



Image002 20150806 012502 1

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AGM Wrap up

AGM Wrap up

On Tuesday 18 November 2014, Advocacy for Inclusion presented its al Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGMs official proceedings saw the re-appointment of the Board. We farewelled long-time serving Board member Jane  and welcomed Kathryn, one of our Self-advocates, to the Board.


The evening ended with presentations by our Self-advocates, about how Self-advocacy has helped them achieve their goals and ability to speak for themselves.

You can now read our report on Enhanced Self-advocacy here:


You can donate to help run our Self-advocacy program here:


Our financial statements and annual report are also available on our website here:


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Join us at our Annual General Meeting: 18 November 4:45- 6 PM

This has undoubtedly been the busiest year yet for the Advocacy for Inclusion team!

We invite you to come to our Annual General Meeting so we can share with you our work over the past year.

The AGM will include nominations to the Board and official proceedings then feature stories and milestones from our Self-advocates who have attend our Peer networking program.

When: 18 November 2014 from 4:45 – 6pm

Where: Room 6, Griffin Centre, 20 Genge St Canberra City 2601

*This room has a hearing Loop

We have achieved some impressive things with such a small team, limited resources, and funding. Please share this evening with us, RSVP by Monday 17 November by:


Calling: 02 6257 4005

Or registering online:






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Self-Advocacy Special Group Meeting 11th December 2014 - NDIS Pre-planning Workshop


Special Group Meeting

11th December 2014 1:00-2:30pm


NDIA are running an
NDIS Pre-planning Workshop

Meeting: 12:30pm Advocacy For Inclusion
(we will walk and bus to venue)


1pm at 212 Northbourne Ave, Braddon

RSVP required to Sharon 6257 4005 or

Please RSVP as soon as possible

This event may be cancelled if
we don’t have enough people RSVP, limited places!

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Supported Decision Making App - Crowdfunding Campaign Update


Thanks everyone who has supported the Supported Decision making App! 

We are 15 days out from our campaigns end and so far we have raised $885. 

We are still along way from our goal so please share. 


What is the Supported Decision Making App? 

The Supported Decision-Making App is a tool to aid people with disabilities to make decisions with or without support from others.

Everybody draws on support to make decisions. For example, you might ask your partner for advice when making decisions about your career, or even aboutwhat dinner you feel like having tonight.

Some people with disabilities need extra support. This might be because they have a cognitiveimpairment and need extra help to weigh up the options. It might also be because they have nothad much practice making decisions. For example, we know that the pre-NDIS disability supportsystem does not offer people with disabilities options to choose from. In this system people withdisabilities get what they are given. Many now have significant decisions to make about theirsupports as they enter the NDIS, which they have never experienced before.

 The Supported Decision-Making App is designed to aid a person with disability through the decision-making process, inside or outside a supported decision-making arrangement. Supported decision-making is a community based skills building model of support. The person with disability nominates trusted others to support them to gather and consider the information necessary to make decisions in their lives. This is different to traditional guardianship models where a person is legally assigned to the person with disability to make decisions on their behalf.

For example, the App will prompt the person to consider the significance of the decision in their lives, what their options are and what the outcomes might be of each option, and who else their decision might involve or impact.

The App will not give the person with disability any answers or make a decision for the person with disability.

It provides prompts to step the person with disability through the things they might like to consider when making decisions.

It can be used as a workbook, where the decision-maker records relevant information to help them work through various aspects of their decision. This App aims to aid the decision making skills of those using it, developing the ability of people to make and communicate decisions with more independence and confidence

 Find our campaign here: Supported Decision Making App

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Self-Advocacy Group Update - 7 October 2014

The Self Advocacy group has recently farewelled Karen and welcomed back Sharon. Our plans for Karen's farewell at Floriade were cancelled due to the wet weather so we decided on afternoon tea at a local cafe instead. We wish Karen all the best for the future and she will be missed by the group, many of whom have attended her groups for over 4 years.

There are some big changes happening within the self-advocacy group with group members wanting to take on a bigger role in running the weekly meetings. The sessions will now be run from an Agenda with each person having the opportunity of taking on an assistive role if they wish. This is also in conjunction with the role of our volunteer co facilitator. 

Another change that will come into effect this week is extending the times of our weekly group session. The group will now run on Thursdays from 1pm - 3pm in the Griffin Centre. This has come about through increased participation and as we have grown more confident in sharing our opinions and ideas. 

The group will be meeting every Thursday from 1 - 3pm in the Griffin Centre. Our planned topics for the next 8 weeks are:
. 9  October 
Dealing with Neighbourhood Problems
. 16 October
    Communication & Active Listening
. 23 October
   Communication & Being Assertive
. 30 October
    Preparing for meetings
. 6 November
   Social media accounts
. 13 November
    Identifying our strengths
. 20 November 
   Advanced Care Planning

All people with disabilities are welcome to attend and groups are free. No registration necessary     - just turn up


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Supported Decision Making App - Crowdfunding Campaign

Supported Decision Making App - Crowdfunding Campaign


Everybody has the ability to make their own decisions, but some people need support.

Advocacy for Inclusion hopes to provide support with an interactive plain English app.  This app steps through the decision making process so that people with disabilities can identify preferences and build skills towards independent decision making. 

In order to develop this app we need $25 000. As a registered charity who doesn’t charge people with disabilities for our services, we need your help to raise these funds.

Join our crowdfunding campaign here at

Every contribution, big or small, will help us reach our goal and will make a big difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

Currently there is no such app available anywhere in the world that specifically targets people with cognitive disabilities in an easy read or plain English format. 

All people can and should be encouraged to make the decisions that will affect their lives. People with disabilities have the Human right to have control and make choices about their lives. People with disabilities have the right to be supported to make their own decisions.

Join our campaign today and support the rights of people with disabilities





 Read our Reports on decision making here: 



Ask me. I make my own decisionsMay 2013

A report into the findings of a study into the experience of control and choice of people with disabilities in the ACT

Word PDF

Plain English version:

Word  PDF 



Report on Supported decision Making, legal capacity and Guardianship2012

Word PDF



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Control & Choice Expo 2014

Control & Choice Expo 2014

On 22 May 2014 Advocacy for Inclusion hosted the Control & Choice Expo with great success. Over 2000 visitors attended the event, with more than 110 businesses and charities from Canberra and the surrounding region showcasing what products and services they have to offer people with disabilities.

The aim of the Control & Choice Expo was to give people with disabilities the opportunity to see for themselves, what programs and services are available to them.

Advocacy for Inclusion was proud to host an event with the help of many great volunteers and sponsors: ABC 666 Canberra, Bank MECU and ACT government Community Services Directorate. 

The Day Kicked off with an Outside broadcast from 666 ABC Canberra and hosted by the Control & Choice Expo Patron, Genevieve Jacobs.

Genevieve Jacobs took the time to explore some of the more quirky types of services on offer, such as Floating Beach Wheelchairs, life coaching services and Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT (pictured).

As the Patron of the expo Jacobs wanted to send the message that “Everyone deserves to speak with their own voice and everyone's individual gifts and abilities deserve recognition. The implementation of the NDIS promises a fresh start and a new direction for many, and the Control and Choice Expo will provide a strong, locally oriented starting point for that journey."

You can read her entire message at:

Visitors arrived in droves from 10am, many keen to see what programs, products and services are available for people with disabilities in Canberra.

Organisations provided visitors with a wealth of information, and opportunities for future support, while exhibitors were able to network with local and interstate organisations. 

Nicole from Australian Healthcall said “It allowed everyone to come together in one place and give exposure particularly for several people who had no idea how to access service.”

Many people were thrilled to have so many diverse organisations under the one roof, an opportunity that many people with disabilities have never had before.


 2014-05-22 09.40.08 ABC 666 cirtificateCC Expo 16webCC Expo 39web


Missed out on the Control & Choice Expo 2014?

A full list of exhibitors can be found at:

Also you can drop into our office for a free Control & Choice Expo showbag with the Exhibitors’ Guide and exhibitor information from the day. Get in quick!  

A full list of our fantastic volunteers and supporters can be found at:

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Local Matters Donation

In January Advocacy for Inclusion participated in Grill'd's Local Matters program.

grill'd local matters jarThis initiative aims to get local groups/charities a greater awareness within the local community by getting diners to  pick, (by placing a token in a jar) 1 of 3 charities/groups that they would like to see go in the running for $300 donation, with the  runners up getting $100.

Advocacy for Inclusion came away with a donation of $100, which will go towards funding our  self-advocacy  course for people with disabilities. 

We would like to thank Grill'd Canberra Centre for their lovely service and support. 

We would also like to thank everyone who put a token in our jar!

$100 may not seem like much, but for us as little as:

  • $25 Buys fresh food for one week of our Nutrition and Self-advocacy course 
  • $50 Provides one comprehensive Self-advocacy manual, a resource for future self-advocacy
  • $80 Pays for a return trip by taxi for a self-advocate to attend training or our self-advocacy network
  • $123 Hires a training room for one session of Self-advocacy education

A small donation can go a long way to help people with disability speak up for themselves, but without donations we cannot keep these courses running. 

If you would like to donate to Advocacy for Inclusion you can donate Online through Hands Across Canberra or by downloading a donations form off our website  

Grill'd certificate

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