Important update: Our waitlist is currently closed and we are not taking on any new clients at this time. Visit our advocacy update webpage for more information.
YDAS works with disabled young people in Victoria to make sure you can speak up and are being treated fairly.
Our free individual advocacy service is for disabled young people, aged 12 to 25, in Victoria. Our advocacy team works directly with young people to provide advice and support.
Our advocacy team can:
- Support you with problems you have with education, housing or the NDIS
- Support you to make a complaint if you are being treated unfairly
- Attend important meetings with you
- Explain your rights in Victoria
- Refer you to other services if we are unable to support you
Our advocacy team cannot:
- Give legal advice
- Provide counselling
- Make choices for you
- Give financial advice
- Work with young people who do not have a disability
- Work with young people who do not live in Victoria
- Work with people who are not aged 12 to 25
The Victorian Government has a list of disability advocacy organisations that may be able to support you if we cannot.
What should I do before contacting YDAS?
Before contacting our advocacy team you need to:
1. Have an idea of how our advocacy team can support you.
You will need to explain the issue you are facing and what our advocacy team can support you with. For example, you may need an advocate to come with you to an important meeting.
2. If you are a parent or guardian of a young person needing advocacy, make sure you talk to them before contacting YDAS.
We want disabled young people to have as much control over their own lives as possible. Generally, we only provide advocacy support if the young person has given us permission.
3. Keep records of the issue.
If you are facing an issue that you would like our advocacy team to support you with, it is helpful for us to see communication about the issue. Keeping records like emails helps our advocacy team understand the issue and how we can support you.
Your rights when you use a disability service
In Victoria, disabled people have rights when using disability services. The Disability Act (2006) says that:
- You must be given information that explains your rights whenever you start using a disability service.
- The information must be explained to you in person and in writing.
- You have the right to direct your own disability care plan.
When you get advocacy support through YDAS, we will make sure you understand your rights.
Making a complaint
Young people using our advocacy service are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Commissioner if you are not happy with our service. Find out more about making a complaint below.
Contact our advocacy team
Visit our Contact Us webpage for information about how to contact the YDAS team.
When you contact our advocacy team, they will ask you to explain the problem that you need advocacy support with and how you have tried to fix the problem. They will also ask you for your contact details and the best way to contact you.