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The Department of Human Services (DHS/the department) and the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) are denying residents of group homes the right to representation, according to Lifestyle in Supported Accommodation (LISA) Inc.. This denial of rights occurs when OPA community visitors undertake inspections.
The residents of group homes are intellectually disabled with limited capacity to make value judgements in respect to their living conditions. Many have little or no ability to communicate in a meaningful way with community visitors.
The department wrongly claims the residents have the ability to evaluate and communicate their views about the service they are paying for. The Public Advocate refuses to allow community visitors to contact advocates when the visitors have inspected a house.
These residents have the right to be represented by their advocates who are able to express views as to service level and quality. The denial of this right means that while service support staff are given the opportunity to be heard the residents have no voice.
Tony Tregale from Lifestyle in Supported Accommodation Inc. says, "This is a disgraceful situation. People with so little in their lives are further disadvantaged by the closed-shop attitude of DHS and the Public Advocate." Mr Tregale further stated, "People with disabilities have the right to be represented. DHS and the Public Advocate must uphold this right, not deny it.?"
Contact: Tony Tregale, LISA Inc, Tel: 9434-3810. Mobile: 0409-404550.
The objective of LISA Inc is to empower and support families with a member with an intellectual or multiple disability who is living in supported accommodation to better understand service provision procedures, care policies, standards and values, and thereby be better positioned to scrutinise service providers. And, to lobby service providers for consistent and meaningful provision of quality of life care
Lifestyle in Supported Accommodation (LISA) Inc
“The provision of quality of life care for all with an intellectual or multiple disability who live in supported accommodation, and that families need the support to be carers for as long as they wish to be, in the knowledge they have the right to a quality of life care accommodation and support package for their family member with a disability whenever they choose".
OBJECTIVES, ACTIVITIES AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
“To empower and support families with a member living in supported accommodation to better understand service provision procedures, care policies, standards and values, and thereby be better positioned to scrutinise service providers”.
Mr Tony Tregale
Department of Human Services, Disability Services,, Victoria
This is a state government department providing direct and indirect support services for vulnerable people