In the past the government, or an organisation, would create disability services that people could use, and then let people use them. For example, they might have a day program where ten people with intellectual disabilities go bowling, swimming and to the movies. But if someone didn’t like these activities, they didn’t have a lot of choice to get support for other activities. Some services are still like this. Some people like to use these services.
But now there is a new way of doing things too. The new way focuses on letting you plan what you want to do, and then finding out how you can get the support you need to do it. For example, you might not need a day program, because you have a job. But you might need help paying for taxis to get to your job.
These days, you have the right to make choices and have control what disability services you get. This right is protected by a law called the Disability Act. Examples of choices you can make include:
- Making a plan for what you want, how you will get it and who will help you to get it (called ‘self-directed planning’). You can get help with this, or do it on your own.
- Controlling who will use your funding (money) to pay for your services. This can be you or someone else (called ‘self-directed funding’).
- Deciding what services you would like to use (called ‘self-directed support’)
If you feel like a disability service is not respecting your right to make choices and control how your funding is spent, you can complain. You can complain to the service. If that doesn’t work or you are worried about complaining to the service, you can complain to the Office of the Disability Services Commissioner.