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 is available to people with a 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 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 way disability advocacy works 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.
For more information, see Disability advocacy organisations.
Self-advocacy plays a significant role in enabling people with a disability develop skills that 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 futures plan 2018–2020
In October 2018 we launched the Victorian disability advocacy futures plan 2018–2020. This plan will guide 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.
Disability Advocacy Sector Capacity Building Fund
The Victorian Government is providing an additional $1.574 million to deliver 15 disability advocacy initiatives. These will bring about a range of benefits, including accessible pathways for people to access targeted advocacy supports. The successful fund recipients were selected after a call for submission process.
The Victorian Government is also providing $200,000 for dedicated initiatives to strengthen disability advocacy for Aboriginal communities.
To find out more, read the summary of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Sector Capacity Building Fund recipients in Related resources.
Disability Advocacy Innovation Fund
The Victorian Government has allocated grants to 15 disability advocacy organisations to strengthen the sector's capacity. This is part of the $1.5 million Disability Advocacy Innovation Fund.
Through the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program, the grants will support organisations to deliver 21 initiatives including:
- Engaging diverse, isolated people with a disability
- Manage demand
- Strengthen systemic advocacy.
The successful grant recipients were selected after a call for submission process.
To find out more, read the summary of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Innovation Fund grant recipients in Related resources.
Victorian Disability Advocacy program review
In August 2015, we commenced a review of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program. This was to look at the effectiveness of the current advocacy models. It was also to examine the benefits and risks emerging from a range of inquiries and policy reform, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
A copy of the summary of the review findings and next steps is available in Related resources.