A DISABILITY advocacy group in Wodonga has expanded its services in the North East to try to support people in outlying areas.
Disability Advocacy and Information Service (DAIS) opened a new office in Ely Street, Wangaratta last month.
DAIS executive officer Martin Butcher said yesterday: “Wangaratta was seen as a central location to support people in outlying areas including Benalla, Mansfield and Alpine shire towns.
“People from outlying areas come into Wangaratta for shopping.”
Staff will also be able to go out and see people in the outlying areas.
DAIS is an independent community organisation that provides free advocacy and information to people with all types of disability.
The new office, with two staff members, will be used to provide services including disability advocacy.
“The office provides a relaxed and confidential environment for people with a disability and older people to meet with an advocate or an access and support worker, to discuss how to resolve an issue they may have,” Mr Butcher said.
The role of an advocate is to stand alongside, and speak on behalf of, a person with a disability when he or she isn’t receiving the support or services required.
An advocate can attend tribunal hearings, write to service providers or help with disputes with phone or power companies.
The service will increase its justice support, expanding to have a team of volunteers who will be available to support people with a disability who need to attend the Wangaratta or Benalla courts.
To make an appointment, phone DAIS on 1300 886 388.