The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) is a free, independent and confidential service for people with disabilities. NAS is supported and funded by the Citizens Information Board. NAS is independent of health services and disability services, and has a team of advocates around the country who work directly with people with disabilities across a range of issues in their lives.
The vision of NAS is one where people with disabilities can exercise their rights, with the capacity of people with disabilities to making their own decisions equally recognised with orders, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
NAS has a particular remit to work with people with disabilities in particularly vulnerable situations, such as those living in residential settings, attending day services, those with communications differences and people with limited formal or natural supports.
As an issues-based service, NAS works with people on the basis of their need for the service, rather than on the basis of their particular disability. Therefore, people will any kind of disability may be eligible to work with an advocate, including physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental health issues, ASD, acquired brain injuries, or those who have more than one disability.
Advocates are people who work with you to understand your options and help you to make a decision. NAS advocates seek to empower people with disabilities to advocate for themselves when decisions are being made that affect them.
NAS advocates can help people with disabilities have their voices heard, and express their opinions to services, authorities, family and friends. NAS advocates can help in meetings, with writing letters and emails and by making phone-calls. NAS advocates are there to make sure that a person and their views are at the centre of the decision or process that is going to affect their life. NAS advocates are also there to assist people who are proactively making change in their life. For example, NAS advocates can assist with applications for particular services, requests for change of services, and moving accommodation etc.
People with disabilities are supported by NAS in relation to lots of issues, such as housing and residential placements, healthcare decisions, personal finances, justice issues and family/parenting/relationship issues.
NAS has approximately full-time, professional 50 staff working across the county to provide advocacy to people with disabilities. In 2018, we engaged in 3,937 pieces of advocacy and information support work, with 916 people receiving full, representative advocacy.
If you, or someone you know, would like help with an issue by working with a NAS advocate, you can call our national line at 0761 07 3000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org