What is systemic advocacy?
IATI’s objectives define systems advocacy as to:
- undertake social action that proactively and assertively seeks to influence positive change;
- they are informed and identified by individual advocacy and by the values of our organisation.
Systems that impact:
- Law/legislation/political policy
- Government departments – policy/procedures/structure/funding
- Service organisations – practice
- Community – opinions and attitudes
Tools we use to exert influence:
- Education and Information Provision essential, bring issues into awareness
- Submissions to legislative reviews provisions in the new/amended act
- Participation in consultation processes
- Influence policy/procedures/structure/funding
- Seek to inform and influence key people within stakeholder agencies
One person can make a difference!
- Commence working groups – link to key people working together
- Lobby political reps
- Maintaining a presence
- Instrument of change
- Awareness and safeguarding
Project 1: Disability Support Pension - Medical Appeals
During the process of individual advocacy for person with a disability having their applications for the Disability Support Pension rejected, IATI identified a key factor common in all notices of rejection of the application was that of insufficient medical evidence being provided with the original application.
The 20 points requirement
Many claims are rejected because Centrelink award less than the required 20. If this happens, it is a good idea to look at the impairment tables and see whether or not you (and your doctor) agree this is the correct decision, or whether there are any other points, under a different or the same table, which ought properly to be allocated to your conditions.
Our position was that not enough information was made available to those applying for the Disability Pension and in particular the emphasis on the requirement of accurate and adequate medical evidence to support their application.
Our goal was to produce a fact sheet that would not only set out the importance of and what medical evidence that was required but also to provide information regarding the Appeals process that was available to the applicant.
Project 2: Self-Advocacy Workshops
IATI developed a training package designed for people that addressed the key skills required to be adopted for effectively advocating for yourself. Not limited to only people with a disability but anyone who would like to learn how to better advocate for themselves or their loved ones.
Speaking up and advocating for yourself can help someone feel strong and take charge of their life. However, it is not always easy to have the confidence to go for it. Making your own choices, big or small, can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself. Help you to find your voice and make informed choices—even when you may not be at your best.
The workshops were delivered through 2hour workshops in six locations across our service area covering basic skills required to successfully advocate for yourself with a each participant receiving a 100 page Resource book. We also undertook follow up check-ins and supervision for 3 months.