An advocate is someone who helps you express your opinions, have your say and stand up for your rights.
An advocate can be a paid professional from an advocacy organisation who supports you in the ways you want to be supported.
For example, you can ask your advocate to come to your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning meeting and talk for you if you get stuck. But they shouldn’t talk for you unless you ask them to, and they should never talk over you.
An advocate can also be a family member or friend, which the NDIS calls informal supporters. Informal supporters are anyone in your life who gives you support without being paid.
When we talk about advocates on this website, we always mean paid professionals from advocacy organisations.
You can find a list of advocacy organisations in each state and territory on the Department of Social Services website.The unpaid support that National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants get from people around them, such as from their family, friends or neighbours.