Disability advocacy and self help

The Victorian Government helps to promote the participation and voice of people with a disability by funding disability advocacy and self-advocacy organisations.

Disability advocacy and self-advocacy organisations play a vital role in promoting and advancing the rights of people with a disability.

Advocacy

Disability advocacy provides assistance and support to ensure that:

  • The rights of people with a disability are upheld as valued members of the community
  • People with a disability actively participate in decision making processes, particularly those where the outcomes impact on their lives
  • The needs and views of people with a disability are presented to government, service providers and the broader community

The need for advocacy can be identified in a number of ways. Advocacy is provided when requested by people with a disability. Family or carers might also request advocacy support, when appropriate.

Advocacy strategies may include:

  • Acting with, or making representation on behalf of, people with a disability
  • Referrals to appropriate bodies to effect the resolution of complaints
  • Influencing policies and practices to promote fair treatment and social justice for people with a disability.

Self-advocacy

Self-advocacy plays a significant role in enabling people with a disability to develop the skills to ensure that their rights and interests are respected and realised.

For people with a disability self-advocacy is about:

  • Speaking on one's own behalf
  • Understanding rights
  • Making real choices
  • Learning new skills

Victorian Disability Advocacy Program Review

In August 2015 the Department of Health and Human Services commenced a review of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program to look at the effectiveness of the current advocacy models and examine the benefits and risks emerging from a range of inquiries and policy reform including the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The department has produced a summary of the review findings and next steps. This includes further information regarding a fixed-term $1.5 million Disability Advocacy Innovation Fund to boost the capacity of organisations funded under the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program. An invited call for submissions process will commence in December 2016.

Contacts

Office for Disability

General enquiries:
Tel: 1300 880 043
Email: disabilityadvocacy@dhhs.vic.gov.au

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