Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
DACSSA acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and
community. DACSSA offices are situated on Kaurna Land. We recognise that wherever we visit to provide Advocacy in South Australia,
that we are on stolen land. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elder peoples past, present and future.
DACSSA IS A SAFE PLACE
DACSSA is proud to advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who live with disability. We offer support and assistance to individuals, families and carers of all people in South Australia in working to resolve challenges associated with disability, to improve the quality of their life.
We recognise that the people we work with are strong and resilient. DACSSA is a safe place for all people. It’s a place to talk through your experiences and seek assistance in finding a way forward. We are inclusive of everyone.
To read about our values, please refer to our values handout.
DACSSA continues to demonstrate commitment to build on the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability, to reach their potential and to raise their voices. To be at the forefront of decision making and exercise their rights.
At DACSSA, we reflect on ourselves as individuals, as a team, and as Australians, and we consult to continually improve the way services are provided for our First Nations people who live with disability.
As an independent Advocacy agency, we have pride in respecting and recognising lived experience. We want to carry out our vision for reconciliation by:
- championing the voices and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- breaking down barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live with disability, to make sure that those with disability have the same opportunities as others
- building meaningful relationships with Elders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in South Australia
- advocating for the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with disability
- helping South Australia, as a society, improve the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability are supported
It is only with consideration and support of the rights of all South Australians with disability, that we can begin to affect access to equal opportunity.
RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN (RAP)
We have developed our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation, through quality advocacy services that are culturally safe and accessible. We want to build meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to facilitate equitable access to disability services.
To learn the steps we are taking, please take a few moments to read our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
DISABILITY IN OUR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
The documented statistics vary, but the last Census (ABS 2019) show us that around 8.5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples aged 15 and over, in non-remote areas, live with severe or profound disability.
From statistics we can begin to understand that:
- 45% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are living with disability or long-term health conditions
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are 2.1 times more likely to be living with disability than other Australians
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are 5 times more likely to experience mental illness
- 19% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with disability participate in the workforce
Further, based on the Survey of Disability, Aging and Caring in 2015, we understand that:
- disability rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and females in 2015 were similar (23% and 25%, respectively)
- those aged 55 and over had a higher rate of disability than those in younger age groups
- more than half (58%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples aged 55 and over were living with some form of disability and 18% had severe or profound disability.
What this Means to Us
This data, and the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples who DACSSA supports, tells us that disability is an important issue to address, in order to advocate for the rights, wellness and outcomes for those with disability.
DACSSA understands that disability is a social construct, and for advocacy support to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, DACSSA must consult to recognise how people identify with disability in the context of health, mental well-being and spirituality.
More needs to be done to better understand experiences of disability for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples.
DACSSA is committed to supporting the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples to be better heard.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We provide Individual Advocacy and support people to Self-Advocate, helping them resolve issues and seek the support that they need. We also work to change things on a larger-scale, systemically, to find solutions when the same issues affect many people.
We can come and talk to a group of people and hear your experiences. We are happy to provide a guest speaker to share information on rights and various disability topics relevant to you.
To read through our advocacy process, please refer to our handout.
DISABILITY ROYAL COMMISSION
There is a Royal Commission in progress, investigating exploitation, abuse, neglect and violence against people with disability. The Commission is an independently inquiry and is not run by the Government. Six Commissioners have been appointed to lead the Royal Commission, including First Nations Commissioner Andrea Mason, OAM, a Ngaanyatjarra and Kronie woman, from Western Australia.
The Commission has made it a priority to better understand the issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. They want to make recommendations on how to make positive change and make Australia more inclusive for people with disability.
The Commission wants to hear your story. We can assist with information and helping people to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission. Anyone can make a submission and and we can help you do it in a way that’s right for you.
- at the DACSSA offices (when possible)
- over the phone
- at a public place where you feel comfortable to meet e.g. a local library
- via email
- via videoconferencing
DACSSA understands that individuals may have special access requirements; please contact us if this is the case, so we can tailor our approach.
IF YOU NEED SUPPORT
You can call us on (08) 7122 6030 or contact us online please fill out our online. All the ways you can reach us are on our Contact Us page.
We can talk to you on behalf of another person, but DACSSA will need to understand that they have given you permission to do this (e.g. Parent, Legal Guardian, or through written authority). To find out more about consent, or to download a consent form, please visit our consent page.Online Form