Key Principles for Disability Advocacy Organisations

To achieve the advocacy goals, disability advocacy organisations should strive for the following in their service delivery:

  1. Be responsive

Disability advocacy organisations should demonstrate responsiveness by:

  • Providing high quality services to people with disability in a prompt and professional manner, and in accordance with relevant policies
  • Identifying and promoting a best practice approach. This involves adopting appropriate strategies, methods and processes that lead to improved outcomes for people with disability.
  • Applying knowledge and expertise to deliver a high quality service and identifying opportunities to improve service outcomes
  • Accessing alternative or complementary sources of counsel, advice or service when necessary.
  1. Show leadership

Disability advocacy organisations should demonstrate leadership by:

  • Advancing the rights of people with disability
  • Providing a positive influence
  • Inspiring and empowering others
  • Actively implementing, promoting and supporting advocacy values
  • Acting in an ethical manner
  • Working with or on behalf of people with disabilities to respond to identified needs
  • Ensuring policies and procedures are implemented
  • Recognising that disability intersects with other identities (such as cultural, gender, sexuality) to create welcoming, accessible services.
  1. Be accountable

Disability advocacy organisations should have documented processes that will ensure good governance, leadership and management, including:

    • A clear mission or values statement
    • A description of the programs and services provided, measurable program goals and objectives, and clear communication of what service users can expect from the organisation
    • Clear advocacy principles
    • A statement of the organisation’s planning and policy directions
    • Robust systems for finance, accounting, risk management, occupational health and safety, employment practices, confidentiality and privacy
    • Policies that cover:
      • Roles and responsibilities of the Board, board members, the CEO and staff
      • Inclusive participation and service users’ rights
      • Conflicts of interest
      • Grievances and complaints
      • Meeting and decision-making processes
      • Publicity and media contact
      • Partnership and referral arrangements.