Advocacy & Networks
“Disability Advocacy ensures the human and legal rights of people with disabilities are promoted and protected so that people with disabilities can fully participate in the community. An advocate in the disability sector works to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are upheld and supports people with disabilities to make decisions affecting their lives.” – Disability Advocacy Resource Unit
Across Australia there are a range of advocacy services, student networks and student representative organisations available for people with disability studying in higher education.
Advocacy services provide advocacy assistance to individuals with disability, their families and cares. Others advocate and lobby on a broader level for the interests of all people with disability, or type of disability, region or group. Some do both and/or other types of advocacy.
Advocacy services can help people with disability to voice their concerns and/or help to bring about an improvement or resolution to address the issues of concern.
For more information
Student networks tend to offer less of direct advocacy support, and instead provide a mechanism for students with disability to share information, experiences and sometimes act collectively about common issues students with disability face.
Student Representative Councils, Associations & Unions
Many educational institutions, for example universities, TAFEs and other providers, have various student representative bodies involved in different ways that allow students to have a say about the institution. These bodies, including student representative councils, associations and unions, often include specific representatives of students with disability who voice the particular experiences of people studying with disability.
Often you can connect with and/or participate with any of these organisations through social media, student online forums at your institution and/or via email. Search your institution’s website or contact your student support services for details.
State and territory legal services
Additionally, there are state based legal services that have expertise in disability discrimination or can refer you to additional services as appropriate:
- Victoria – Legal Aid or Disability Discrimination Legal Service
- New South Wales – the Australian Centre for Disability Law
- Queensland – Disability Law Queensland
- ACT – Canberra Disability Discrimination Law
- Tasmania – Launceston Community Legal Service or Hobart Community Legal Service
- Western Australia – Sussex Street Community Law Services
- South Australia – Your Story Disability Legal Support
- Northern Territory – Darwin Community Legal Service