The aim of this document is to provide a useful starting point for discussion within advocacy organisations for developing rights based policies and procedures.  This document replaces the Disability Advocacy Code of Conduct that was developed in 2011.

Why the change from ‘code’ to ‘principles’?

During the process of reviewing ‘The Code’ in 2017, the review committee felt that the term ‘Code’ implied that the principles outlined in this document related to a compulsory compliance scheme or standard.  The principles are not mandatory but rather, present an agreed framework to promote consistency across disability advocacy organisations.

The principles outlined in this document recognise organisational autonomy and diversity across the advocacy sector while identifying ethical principles that underpin effective advocacy practice and state the goals of disability advocacy.

Disability Advocates, Disability Advocacy organisations and their Committees of Management or Boards, are provided with a clear framework for understanding their responsibilities and accountabilities.

The principles of advocacy  recognise that:

  • Disability advocates are skilled professionals working to promote and uphold the rights of people with disability within a human rights framework.
  • Advocacy organisations play an important role in protecting and improving the lives and rights of people with disability by bringing to public attention the issues affecting people with disabilities.
  • Committees of Management and/or Board Members are accountable for the process of decision making which ensures the overall direction, effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness carried out by their respective Disability Advocacy organisation.