Intellectual Disability Rights Service
The Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) is a specialist legal information and advocacy service for people with intellectual disability. We work with and for people with intellectual disability to exercise and advance their rights.
We do this by: providing legal advice, casework and support; advocating for improvements to laws and policies affecting people with intellectual disability; providing assistance to legal and other professionals supporting people with intellectual disability and providing information to service providers and the community about the rights and needs of people with intellectual disability.
We strongly endorses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by persons with disabilities.
We are a community legal centre. IDRS receives its main funding from the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care and the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
Our vision is of a society that understands, respects, promotes and safeguards the rights of people with intellectual disability. A society where people with intellectual disability are able to fully exercise their rights.
Our purpose is to work alongside people with intellectual disability to achieve our vision of a society where people with intellectual disability are able to fully exercise their rights as valued and respected citizens.
We believe that people with intellectual disability are people first and are valued members of society entitled to:
- live in and be part of a diverse and inclusive community
- live free from discrimination and prejudice
- be provided with the support needed to exercise their rights
- be afforded social justice and equality
- be included in meaningful and empowering ways in matters that affect them
- be treated fairly as citizens including by the criminal justice system
- use mainstream services that meet their individual needs
- support and adjustment by social agencies to minimise their disadvantage as a right and not as the result of pity, charity or the exercise of social control
We work towards creating a society:
- that is inclusive, supportive and respects individual difference
- that enables the full and effective participation and inclusion of people with intellectual disability
- that respects the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings
- where legislation, services and policies positively support and assist people with an intellectual disability
We are an organisation that values:
- active and meaningful participation of people with intellectual disability in our all aspects of our work including governance
- feedback about our work
- open communication, accountability, continual learning, innovation and excellence
- working collaboratively with people with intellectual disability and others to achieve our vision
- the integrity, skill and commitment of our staff, volunteers and Board
What we do
We provide a state-wide service in the following areas:
Direct legal work- including some casework representing clients, providing legal advice, support and referral to assist people with intellectual disability to get the best possible outcomes when they are involved in the legal system
Support- providing support persons for people with intellectual disability at court and at police stations
Law reform and system change- advocating for improvements to laws, practices and policies so that the legal rights and dignity of people with intellectual disability are protected and promoted
Enhancing the skills of legal and justice professionals- assisting legal and justice professionals to communicate effectively with and provide quality services to clients with intellectual disability
Empowering people with intellectual disabilities- enabling people with an intellectual disability to exercise their rights by providing assistance, information and support
Enhancing support networks- assisting service providers, individuals and the community to better understand the needs of people with intellectual disability and to promote and respect their rights