It’s about ensuring that people with disability have a voice; that we have input into and control over decisions that affect our lives.

We all want to belong, to be included and to have the same opportunities to fulfil our own unique potential. People with disabilities are no different. It’s just a whole lot harder. How do you find work when you can’t get your wheelchair onto public transport, much less into half the buildings? Who do you turn to for help when your child isn’t being given the support they need in school? What if you or someone you love is being treated poorly by the facility you’re supposed to trust? Where do you turn?

This is what independent disability advocacy is all about: people in your corner who are experts and can help you navigate the system. People who will shine a light and help make the system better. People who know your rights, understand your challenges and will work with you to sort it out so you can have real control over your own life – whatever’s going on.

Different organisations focus on different areas. Some organisations specifically support families, others support people with intellectual disabilities, or particular physical challenges. Some focus on making the system better as a whole, while others primarily help individuals. But whether we’re making things better one person at a time or by winning changes that will help thousands, our work is essential.