Some of the classic battles families of people with disability face include enrolment in the regular class at school, professional and useful treatment from medical professionals and not having their son or daughter lumped into services with people they may have nothing in common with than a diagnosis.

Furthermore, some parents or other family of people with disability have a disability themselves and might need additional support. For example, a parent might be autistic and have children with autism or other neurodivergence. The NSW Judicial Commission has noted that 33% of primary carers in NSW and 29.7% of other carers have disabilities themselves.

Often in our society, it is viewed as ‘easier’ to communicate with the family member, friend or partner of a person with disability, than to communicate with the person directly. That being said, groups like Family Advocacy recognise the important role families play in the life of a person with disability, and so we’re there to support families of people with disability to advocate on their behalf.

Families can make the person with disability’s voice heard when and if they are not able to do so for themselves – including babies and children – and later when a person either does not have the capacity or desire to advocate for themselves. When families do everything they can to enable a person with disability to have a good life, that person is less vulnerable and more able to participate fully in their community.