Your Story Disability Legal Support update—Issue 27, November 2023

Your Story Info Line – real people providing real support

When you contact a service, the personal touch really matters.

When people ring us or use our web chat service, they are often very pleased to learn they are communicating with a real person rather than a bot.

That’s why, in this edition, we are highlighting the services provided by the specialist staff who run our Info Line and web chat service. Their work is crucial – because they help people to access the free legal advice and assistance provided by our lawyers across Australia.

In the past four years, our Info Line team has handled more than 10,000 enquiries from people with disability and the family members, carers and supporters of people with disability.

Listening to people’s stories is a big part of their role on the Info Line. When people contact us, we listen carefully to callers to understand their needs and their preferences regarding the support we can provide.

You can contact our Info Line in a way that works for you - by phone at 1800 77 1800, or by webchat, email or online form via our website

We can arrange an interpreter, including Auslan, for you for free. If you are deaf and/or find it hard to hear or speak with people who use a phone, you can use the National Relay Service to contact us.

"Everyone has a right to access safe, inclusive and trauma-informed services."

We are fortunate that our Info Line team has a wide range of skills and experience.

Its members have worked in fields including legal administration, social work, customer service, community mental health care and disability support services.

"Our goal is to provide an inclusive service for clients. For example, we've arranged legal advice by email for people who find it hard to speak or hear on the phone. Being a trauma-informed service, we strive to provide a client-centred intake service that is respectful of each person’s diverse experiences."    Petra from our Info Line

"I passionately believe that everyone has a right to access safe, inclusive and trauma-informed services. And I enjoy being surrounded by like-minded people who consistently go above and beyond for each client."    Jo from our Info Line

"(The thing I most enjoy about this role is) supporting clients to be heard, assisting them with their legal rights and providing a service which is safe for clients."    Liz from our Info Line

"I enjoy working with a team that, like me, genuinely cares about improving the lives of Australians living with disability."    Tom from our Info Line

"We often arrange legal advice for people who may have had bad experiences dealing with government and legal services in the past. We go above and beyond to make sure our clients feel welcome, heard, respected and in control. I like the difference we make in the lives of our clients. I hope all services can become more accessible for people with disability."    Adam from our Info Line

Assisting people with disability who are in prison

An important part of our work is to assist people with disability who are in prison.

Our Tasmanian lawyer Jane is pictured on the right at a Mental Health Expo that was recently run by the Tasmanian Prison Service at Risdon Prison.

Inmates were pleased to learn more about our service and to look through the Easy Read summaries of the final report of the Disability Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission report: your questions answered

Do you have questions about the Royal Commission’s final report? 

"We are here to support you if you have questions about it or if you are seeking legal support," says Susannah O'Reilly (pictured), the Director of Your Story service.

"We continue to provide free legal support to people with disability as well as their families, carers and supporters.

"This can include support with issues such as the NDIS, discrimination or guardianship, or problems with your employment, schooling or housing."

For information or assistance, please contact us on 1800 77 1800online or email.

Spreading information about the Royal Commission findings

Our lawyer Jane also went to the Launceston and Devonport Disability Expos run by the Speak Out Advocacy organisation.

More than 600 people attended these events that showcased services, products and events for people with disability.

Jane is pictured on the left with Jess Mewis, a lawyer from Tasmania Legal Aid who helps people with NDIS issues.

At the expos, many people asked us about the final report of the Royal Commission and its findings regarding:

  • housing
  • restrictive practices
  • education
  • employment
  • discrimination
  • segregation
  • scams and the exploitation of people with disability
  • the NDIS (especially access to the scheme, the number of services provided, and the safety of those services).

Legal clinics for people who are deaf or hard of hearing

Our Victorian lawyers are running legal clinics for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

At these clinics in Melbourne, they will provide free legal advice and information about a wide range of everyday legal issues. This includes issues commonly experienced by people with disability.

We are providing this free service in partnership with Victoria Legal Aid and Deaf Victoria.

The clinics will run from 11 AM to 1 PM every second Thursday. They will be conducted on Level 9 at 570 Bourke St, Melbourne. Auslan interpreters will be available.

The first clinic is on Thursday 7 December 2023.

For more information about clinic dates and how to get there, visit

Supporting advocates and advocacy services

Advocacy is often vital for people with disability and their families.

Our Victorian lawyer Michelle recently attended Melbourne meetings run by VALID – the Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability.

At meetings like this, we talk about the free legal information and assistance we can provide to people to support their advocacy.

We will also attend VALID’s Having A Say conference next year. You can learn more about VALID by visiting its website

Michelle is pictured on the right and is with Heather Forsyth from VALID.

Out and about at community events

Sami and Jacki from our Sydney office recently attended the Guide Dogs Low Vision and Blindness Open Day at Penrith. 

This terrific event informed many people about supports and options available for people with low vision or blindness.

The open day highlighted many opportunities, ranging from assistive technology to specialist sporting activities.

At events like this, we highlight the free and independent legal assistance that we provide across Australia.

International Day of People with Disability

On the International Day of People with Disability, we celebrate the contribution of people with disability in our community.

In Australia, recognising this day is a joint effort that often involves diverse organisations including governments, schools, community groups, businesses and individuals.

Across Australia our service participated in a variety of events to mark this date, and we look forward to bringing you some photos in our next newsletter.

The theme for 2023 is ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with and by persons with disabilities’.

The Sustainable Development Goals involve 17 things that countries will focus on between now and 2030 to make the world better and fairer for everyone. It is important that people with disability are part of this work and have a big say in what happens.

You can learn more about those goals at the United Nations website.

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