The importance of independent information

IDEAS seek universal continuous independent information provision. The markers of this service provision are that they be an in-reach and outreach/omni offer, and as comprehensive in and about the mainstream as well as disability specialised supports. There is a strong argument for universalism, free to all users, to achieve trust excellence and true one stop shop, in independence. This does not mean of course that it would be the only information source but that it would have the critical status of being disinterested in purchase, or contracts. Individuals and others will always use other sources including family and friends, medical advice, service providers, pharmacies, gps, google and other sources as they wish.

IDEAS assert that for society to be true to the UN Convention there must be a gold standard applied to independent information for any person needing it.

In addition there are other benefits to the population in retaining and developing this asset. They include:

  • Cost savings to governments as a result of better bespoke decisions made to suit the individual.
  • Enhanced power to in home and contracted workers to refer individuals to the information source to make their own decisions.
  • Service providers being able to offer their information and also being able to offer good, other and proper choices also available through independent information service provision.

Information, when independent also contributes to safeguarding people with disabilities, and indeed can be the earliest intervention in by supporting the individual to begin self-advocacy on a matter of importance to them. Information is a critical part of the continuum of advocacy and self-actualisation and expression and inclusion in community for any person living with disability.

The separate provision of independent information services are part of the safeguarding processes for people with disability, as well as contributing to them taking their rights based place in the communities where they live, learn, work and engage.

Issues of accessibility relate to distribution channels beyond accessible formats, and must include interfaces beyond digital and mobile, into the print, advertising, and free to air media and face to face opportunities in community and disability settings. Information can be acquitted by NGO's such as IDEAS as 'specialist generalists'.

There needs to be an explicit understanding that for information to be 'good' it needs to be collected, collated, stored, interpreted and disseminated. Data is not knowledge. Information can lead to knowledge which can in turn lead to wisdom.

The internal cultural knowledge required to efficiently support and answer enquiries is part of the asset investment in independent information. They must be accurate and relevant, and be time and place appropriate.

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