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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples


DACSSA is proud to advocate for South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who live with disability. We offer support and assistance to individuals,  family and carers, working to resolve challenges associated with disability, to improve quality of life.

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 .


DACSSA continues to demonstrate commitment to build on the strengths of First Nations Peoples with disability, to reach their potential and to raise their voice. 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. We consult to continually improve the way services are provided for our First Nations Peoples who live with disability.

As an independent Advocacy agency, we have pride in recognising and respecting lived experience. We want to carry out our vision for reconciliation by:

  • championing the voices and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Peoples
  • breaking down barriers for all people who live with disability, to make sure that those with disability have the same opportunities as others
  • building meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and communities within South Australia
  • advocating for the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with disability
  • helping South Australia, as a society, improve the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 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.



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:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples  are more than twice as likely to be living with disability than other Australians
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are 5 times more likely to experience mental illness
  • 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 First Nations 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 First Nations Peoples. DACSSA is committed to supporting the stories of First Nations Peoples to be better heard.


We provide Individual Advocacy and support people to Self-Advocate, helping them to resolve issues and seek the support that they need. Advocacy happens:

  • at the DACSSA offices on Ground Floor, 33 Franklin Street, Adelaide, SA 3000 (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.

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.

In addition to these services, DACSSA  work as Systemic Advocates, to find solutions when the same issues affect many people.



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. DACSSA can assist with information and helping people to share their stories with the Disability Royal Commission. Anyone can make a submission and we can help you do it in a way that’s right for you.



You can call us on (08) 7122 6030 or complete our online form (button link below). All the ways you can reach us are on our Contact Us page, also.

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