Victorian Council of Deaf People provides advocacy for the Deaf Community with funding received from Victorian Government’s Department of Planning and Community Development.
Advocacy is about making a change or representing the Deaf Community various settings through supporting or standing alongside an individual who is in need and speaking out on their behalf. We act in response to community’s needs and are concerned with their basic rights, access and needs to promote and defend the person’s wellbeing and social justice.
There are two types of advocacy: Individual and Systemic, VCOD can do both.
Individual advocacy - focus on one person’s rights and needs, for example, access to workplace.
Systemic advocacy - focuses on whole of community’s rights and needs, for example, Deaf Education Review.
What can VCOD do?
- Encouraging the person/s to take actions, wherever possible;
- Provide information about various services and advocacy supports;
- Informing both individual and community about their rights and responsibilities;
- Linking to broader community and service networks;
- Providing policy developments, reforms and planning for future services;
- Facilitating awareness session to clients, service providers and others;
- Collecting and analysing information from Victorian Government and others to enhance quality of information and contents for our community group;
- Maintaining relationships with various groups to meet or promote the needs of Deaf community.
Advocacy is NOT about:
- Taking over a client’s problem;
- Making decisions for the clients;
- Promoting helplessness or dependency;
- Mediating; and
Example of Systemic Advocacy:
- Fire Alarm Subsidy
- Auslan Video Relay Interpreting
- Emergency Services
- Review of Deaf Education
- Community Interpreting Project
Tools for Advocacy
- The Disability Act (2006)
- The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006)
- Victorian State Disability Plan 2002 – 2012
- The Equal Opportunity Act (1995)
- Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
- Disability Discrimination Act (Education Standards) (year)
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (2008)