Working together with individuals and their families we’ve made tremendous progress. The best changes are those that today we take for granted: like the fact that children with disability are entitled to attend regular schools.

More recently, advocates realised many people needing to see their doctor weren’t able to get onto an examination bed. So we worked in conjunction with RACGP (Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners) to make it mandatory now for a NSW-registered GP surgery to have at least one height-adjustable bed.

Or when we supported parents with intellectual disability living in regional areas, whom had to travel for hours to get to the Children’s Court often missing the court sessions. Advocates negotiated with the court system to trial a circuit court to be held in locations closer to the person with a disability – and it’s been a huge success.

Some victories are locally-based, like in Newcastle where the ferry wharf was only wheelchair-accessible on one side of the river! We stood by the person impacted, arranged legal support and even took the issue to the Human Rights Commission. Now there’s a ferry wharf everyone can use.

Thanks to disability advocacy we finally have lift access for people in wheelchairs, those with stability issues (or prams!) to be able to enjoy the view from one of our most famous national landmarks… the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Examples of what this means in people’s own words – praise for the organisation IDEAS:

“Over much of the 25 years that we have been fostering children with disabilities we have found IDEAS to be a reliable source of information. The staff have been able to track down information on a wide variety of matters. Given the time demands involved in looking after children with disability…..IDEAS has been able to provide information which would have taken hours of time that was much better spent on providing real hands on care for the children we nurturee.”

“They are always happy to help and if they don’t know the answer they will find out for us.”

“The up to date news makes living and coping with my disability a little bit easier.”

”IDEAS became the only resource I could use when my grandson was diagnosed with a rare lifelong condition in 1989.The information they gave me was invaluable at that time and it allowed me to find ways forward to help him.”