The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) is an issues based and professional representative advocacy service. The NAS service is independent, confidential and free. NAS is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board (CIB), which has a mandate under the Citizens Information Act 2007 and the Comhairle Act 2000 to provide advocacy for people with disabilities.
NAS operates on the principle that people with disabilities:
- Make decisions about their lives;
- Access the supports they need to enable them to live their lives and enjoy meaningful participation in family, work and leisure;
- Are listened to and consulted by their families and those who provide their services;
- Can enjoy the benefits of participation in and contribution to their communities if they so choose.
The NAS Service
- Is independent from service providers and funders;
- Always works from the person’s point of view;
- Provides free representation;
- Is empowering;
- Is confidential;
- Works to connect the person to community, needed or preferred services.
NAS has a particular remit to work with people with disabilities who are in particularly vulnerable situations. This includes people with disabilities who live in residential services, who attend day-services, who live in inappropriate accommodation, who have communications differences, who are isolated from their communities or who have limited natural supports.
NAS has a team of approximately 50 number of advocates working in four regions across the country. Learn more about the NAS team.
Statutory Basis of NAS
NAS is part of the framework of services funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board. CIB has, under the Comhairle Act 2000 section 7 as amended by Section 4 of the Citizens Information Act 2007, among its functions the following:
- to support the provision of or, where the Board of CIB considers it appropriate, to provide directly, independent information, advice and advocacy services so as to ensure that individuals have access to accurate, comprehensive and clear information relating to social services and are referred to the relevant services;
- to assist and support individuals, in particular those with disabilities, in identifying and understanding their needs and options and in accessing their entitlements to social services;
- to promote greater accessibility, co-ordination and public awareness of social services and of information, advice and advocacy services provided in relation to such services whether by a statutory body or a voluntary body;
- to support, promote and develop the provision of information on the effectiveness of current social policy and services and to highlight issues which are of concern to users of those services.
NAS collaborates with CIB and the wider advocacy landscape to deliver a high quality advocacy service for people with disabilities, and to raise public awareness about advocacy.