Jenny Smith, Ewan Filmer,Joanne Jamieson and Ben Shaw will present an overview of disability advocacy and programs at Frenchville Sports Club next Tuesday November 20
Jenny Smith, Ewan Filmer,Joanne Jamieson and Ben Shaw will present an overview of disability advocacy and programs at Frenchville Sports Club next Tuesday November 20 Jann Houley

Local advocates offer overview of disability services

NDIS, QCAT, QCCS, CCA, ADA, CHSP, HCP, NDAP... the list of acronyms surrounding disability and aged care services seems baffling.

That's why three disability advocacy programs serving Central Queensland citizens will present a seminar next Tuesday November 20 at the Frenchville Sports Club.

"It's a terribly difficult landscape to navigate,” Ben Shaw of Aged and Disability Advocacy (ADA) Australia said.

Titled An Overview of Local Disability Advocacy Agencies and the NDIS Appeals Program, the seminar will be open to all members of the public who need help distinguishing between local programs and the assistance they provide.

"In the disability context people automatically conclude we are talking about providing one on one care,” Jenny Smith of Queensland Advocacy Inc. said.

"People notice their parents are struggling to hang out the heavy wet laundry on the line or they can't mop or vacuum because of a back injury, they want to know how to access Commonwealth subsidies to at-home help,” ADA's Joanne Jamieson said.

While that is a valid concern, with some locals waiting up to twelve months for home care package funding, it is only one of the vital programs on offer in the region.

She cites guardianship and power of attorney arrangements as other issues with which clients may seek an advocate's assistance.

Ewan Filmer of the Capricorn Citizen Advocacy (CCA) aims to involve the widest range of local stakeholders in the seminar which will be held in a wheelchair-accessible venue.

"This is the first time we've banded together to present our credentials and be on hand to answer people's questions about how we operate.” he said.

He describes CCA's mission as helping vulnerable people who, without friends or family to help them, all too often "slip through the cracks” in the system.

The seminar will feature a Q&A session with one of CCA's 'matches', a carefully vetted process which sees an unpaid citizen volunteer to support and mentor an at-risk protege.

"We've been running this program for five years now and have about thirty pairs who've formed a voluntary and often lifelong bond,” Mr Filmer said.

$20 tickets to the event are available via the eventbrite site or call Capricorn Citizen Advocacy on 4922 0299 for more information.

It will open with a Welcome to Country ceremony and include morning tea.



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