The Victorian Government helps to promote the rights and participation of people with disability by funding disability advocacy agencies and self advocacy groups.
Disability advocacy is available to people with disability if they need it. Family or carers might also request advocacy support, when appropriate.
Advocacy provides assistance and support to ensure that:
- The rights of people with disability are upheld as valued members of the community
- People with disability actively participate in decision making processes, particularly those where the outcomes impact on their lives
- The needs and views of people with disability are presented to government, service providers and the broader community.
Disability advocacy can include:
- Acting with, or making representation on behalf of, people with 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 disability.
For more information, see Disability advocacy organisations.
Self advocacy plays a significant role in enabling people with disability develop skills that ensure that their rights and interests are respected and realised.
For people with disability self advocacy is about:
- Speaking on one's own behalf
- Understanding rights
- Making real choices
- Learning new skills.
Victorian disability advocacy futures plan 2018–2020
In October 2018 we launched the Victorian disability advocacy futures plan 2018–2020 (the Futures plan). This plan guides the Victorian Government to:
- Make improvements to the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program
- Decide how best to invest funding, including through the 2018–19 State Budget
- Respond to the community’s call for better access to advocacy
- Determine a longer term approach to disability advocacy in Victoria from 2021.
A copy of the plan is available on the Victorian disability advocacy futures plan 2018-2020 page on the Victorian state disability plan website.
The Victorian Disability Advocacy Futures Grants program is a key deliverable of the futures plan. Through this program the Victorian Government will fund 25 initiatives that will strengthen the sector by supporting the four outcomes of the futures plan.
The successful grant recipients were selected after a call for submission process in early 2019. To find out more, read the summary of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Futures grants program recipients in Related resources.
COVID-19 Disability Outreach Program
In 2020 the Victorian Government announced additional $2.2 million in funding to support advocacy organisations to provide additional support during the pandemic.
These funds supported Victorian Disability Advocacy Program agencies with a 40 per cent increase in core funding and additional funds to support remote service provision. This aimed to ensure Victorians with disability and their families could access additional advocacy support during the COVID-19 health emergency.
The funding also supported flexible and responsive outreach program with a focus on people with disability from diverse and harder to reach communities who may be experiencing additional disadvantage during health emergency. This program will be delivered by advocacy agencies over 2021.
The successful grant recipients were selected after a expression of interest process in mid 2020. To find out more, read the COVID-19 disability outreach program summary in Related resources (see appendix one).