Advocacy and support

Share Your Story

If you need help with making a submission to share your story, you can have a disability advocate assist you.

An advocate can help you to:

  • tell your story
  • protect your rights
  • find supports to help you with communication
  • find someone to support you with legal issues
  • find someone to support you with financial issues

An advocate won’t:

  • make decisions for you
  • tell you what to do

Advocacy support is available for people with disability who need help:

  • with communication
  • to take part in the Disability Royal Commission.

The National Counselling and Referral Service can help you find an advocate.  Or you can find an advocacy organisation to help you on the Disability Advocacy Finder website.

Emotional and Wellbeing Support

The National Counselling and Referral Service (NCRS) is run by the Blue Knot Foundation.  They offer free, independent, and confidential counselling and support to people with disability who have experienced abuse, violence, neglect, or exploitation.  Please note that you do NOT have to engage with the Disability Royal Commission to access this support or counselling.

This free and confidential counselling and support is available for:

  • people with disability
  • their families and carers.

The National Counselling and Referral Service provides:

  • professional short-term counselling and support
  • a gateway to frontline counselling services
  • warm transfers to and from the Royal Commission, advocacy, and legal support services
  • information and referrals about other useful services

They can also help you find:

  • someone to support you with legal issues
  • someone to support you with financial issues
  • an advocate.

What you can expect when you call the National Counselling and Referral Service:

  • Counsellors who are there to listen and support you
  • Counsellors who focus on your needs when you call
  • They try to answer each call when it rings
  • If they can’t answer the call, and you are put on hold, they will tell you where you are up to in the queue
  • If you have been in the queue for a while, you can ask them to call you back without losing your position in the queue
  • They won’t call you back unless you give them permission to call you

Contact details

  • Call 1800 421 468 or 02 6146 1468 (9am to 6pm weekdays or 9am to 5pm weekends)
  • TTY (teletypewriter) users contact the National Relay Service on 133 677, then ask for 1800 421 468
  • If you require support in another language please use the free of charge Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National), by calling TIS National on 131 450 and asking to be connected to the National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468.

Accessibility

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing, or if it is hard for you to speak, you can contact the National Counselling and Referral Service through the National Relay Service on 133 677.

If you would prefer to contact the National Counselling and Referral Service by video conference, please connect with them first via email at ncrscounsellors@blueknot.org.au or by calling 1800 421 468 to discuss accessing the video conferencing service.

NABS is the National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service.  NABS provides interpreters for Deaf, Deafblind, and hard of hearing people who use sign language, and would like an interpreter for private health care appointments. NABS is free to people who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  More information and the booking form is available on the NABS website.

If you require support in another language, you can use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) free of charge by:

  • Calling the National Counselling and Referral Service and asking for an interpreter. The counsellor will make the arrangements, or
  • Calling TIS on 131 450 and asking to be connected to National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468

Fact Sheets and Resources

Other emotional and wellbeing support services

Lifeline

You can also contact Lifeline if you need to talk to someone.  More information on Lifeline and their services is available here:

  • Call 13 11 14 for confidential telephone crisis support, available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile
  • TTY (teletypewriter) users call 133 677 then ask for 13 11 14
  • Lifeline Text service 0477 13 11 14, available between 6.00pm – midnight (AEST), 7 days a week.

If you are currently experiencing any form of violence or abuse, or are concerned for your safety, call the police on 000.
TTY (teletypewriter) users can contact police on 106 directly through a TTY.

For further information on Counselling and Support services available, visit the Disability Royal Commission website.

Legal Support Services

When sharing your story with the Disability Royal Commission, you may want legal advice.  Some reasons you might want legal advice to share your story includes:

  • You want to use the name of an organisation or person in your story
  • You have a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement that stops you sharing some, or all, of your story
  • You are concerned about payback if you share your story
  • You are worried that you or someone else will be unsafe, lose access to services or employment, or your rights will be affected
  • Your story talks about current or past court matters
  • Your story talks about something you did, that you should not have done or think may be illegal
  • You are registered to speak at a Royal Commission community forum
  • You want support to get ready for a private session with the Royal Commission.

A free, independent legal service, called Your Story Disability Legal Support is available to provide any legal advice you need when sharing your story.

Contact details

  • Call Your Story Disability Legal Support on 1800 77 1800 Monday to Friday or visit the Your Story Disability Legal Support website
  • TTY (teletypewriter) users contact the National Relay Service on 133 677, then ask for 1800 77 1800
  • If you require support in another language please use the free of charge Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National), by calling TIS National on 131 450 and asking to be connected to the Your Story Disability Legal Support on 1800 77 1800

Fact Sheets and FAQ

 

This page was last updated 25th June 2020