Advocacy is acting, speaking or writing to promote, protect and defend the rights of a person or group of people. Advocates can advocate for themselves, another person, or a group of people with disability. Advocates may be paid or volunteer their time for free.
Citizen advocacy is where community volunteers advocate for a person with disability, such as an intellectual disability. The advocacy is long-term, and a Citizen Advocacy organisation supports them.
Group advocacy is when a person or organisation advocates for a group of people with disability, such as a group of people living in shared accommodation.
Individual advocacy is when a professional advocate, relative, friend or volunteer advocates for a single person, to stop or fix instances of unfair treatment or abuse.
Legal advocacy is where a lawyer represents someone with disability in the justice system, pursues changes to legislation, or gives legal advice to people.
Self-advocacy is when someone with disability speaks up and represents themselves. Community-based groups can offer support and training for self-advocacy.
Systemic advocacy is when groups or individuals are working for long-term social change to make sure legislation, policies and practices support the rights and interests of all people with disability.
Organisations that can offer more information:
Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA)
DANA supports and strengthens independent disability advocacy organisations in their work of advocating for and with people with disability so that they are valued and included members of the community, their fundamental needs are met, and their human rights respected. DANA is a network of organisations throughout Australia that undertakes or provides individual advocacy, systemic advocacy, self-advocacy, citizen advocacy, legal advocacy or family advocacy.
Learn more by visiting the DANA website.
Disability Advocacy Resources Unit (DARU)
Disability Advocacy Resources Unit (DARU) works with disability advocacy organisations to promote and protect the rights of people with disability. They develop and distribute resources and provide training opportunities to keep disability advocates informed and up-to-date about issues affecting people with disability in Victoria.
Learn more by visiting the Disability Advocacy Resources Unit (DARU) website.
Disability Justice Australia (DJA)
Disability Justice Australia provides advocacy support to people who have ongoing support needs as a result of disability. DJA is also funded to provide NDIS appeal support to people with disabilities who live in one of the 5 Local Government areas in Victoria – Banyule, Whittlesea, Yarra, Nillumbik, and Darebin. DJA’s focus is about working with the person with a disability and supporting their needs, rights and interests to address and resolve issues they identify. It is independent of all other services and free of conflicts of interest. There is no charge to use the service.
Learn more by visiting the DJA website.
The Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS)
The Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS) is a not-for-profit organisation that assists people with a disability living in the Oven Murray district of North East Victoria and the Murrumbidgee district of Southern NSW.
They provide free and independent advocacy and information to anyone with a disability, of any age to ensure equality of rights and increased integration into the community.
Learn more by visiting the Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS) website.
Youth Disability Advocacy Network (YDAN)
Youth Disability Advocacy Network (YDAN) is a leading advocacy organisation and the peak representative body for young people with disability in Western Australia.
YDAN encourages young people with a disability in Western Australia to feel that their opinions are not only important but wanted and will be listened to when policies are being developed that target them.
Learn more by visiting Youth Disability Advocacy Network (YDAN).