“In Australia, the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (NDS) underpins the principles adopted in the CRPD. The principles ensure people with disability and their representatives are included in developing, designing and implementing policies, programs and services.”
Protocol for Engaging People with Disabilities, Australian Government
Nothing About Us without Us
For decades self advocacy groups run by and for people with cognitive disabilities have championed the motto “Nothing About Us Without Us. The phrase reflects their desire to achieve full and equal participation in decision-making processes which impact on their lives. This motto also underpins the concept of consumer participation.
Consumer participation occurs when people with disabilities are actively involved in decision-making and participate in developing, designing, implementing and evaluating policies, programs and services which impact on their lives. This includes services specifically for people with disabilities and more broadly general community services such as public transport, health, education employment etc.
The reasons for pursuing consumer participation in service delivery are:
• People have a right to participate in, and influence, services that are being provided for their benefit.
• A service designed and delivered with an understanding of the views and needs of those who are to use it is more likely to effectively meet their needs.
• Consumers are expert in what they need, and have a wealth of knowledge on how best to provide services to them and their communities of interest.
Source: Queensland University of Technology, 2006, Developing Your Organisation
Chapter 1. Understand Consumer Participation