Key Principles of Best Practice Advocacy

To achieve the advocacy goals, disability advocates should strive for the following in their work:

  1. Act with integrity
  • Be independent.
  • Understand the importance of privacy and confidentiality.
  • Declare conflicts of interest.
  • Use evidence-based approaches.
  1. Use a person-directed approach
  • Ensure that the voice of the person is heard.
  • Foster self advocacy and empower the person to have a voice wherever possible.
  • Identify the person’s strengths and use these to maximise their contribution and involvement in establishing advocacy goals..
  • Consider a person’s whole of life situation by understanding their existing relationships with friends, family, service providers and other networks.
  • Be proactive in partnering with existing networks (where appropriate) to achieve the best possible outcomes for the agreed advocacy goals.
  • Address all forms of discrimination, create access and promote inclusiveness and respect for diversity.
  1. Maximise communication
  • Recognise, acknowledge and respond to diverse communication needs.
  • Be aware of technology or communication platforms that can assist communication and best practice advocacy.
  • Use language that promotes positive perceptions and empowerment.
  • When representing a person, make sure you respect their preferences for how they wish to be represented.
  1. Know the legislative context

Disability advocates should be aware of all the legislative tools available to assist them in their work as these provide the framework of rights for people with disability. This includes the following Acts:

  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cmth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cmth)
  • National Standards for Disability Services
  • National Disability and Insurance Scheme Act 2013 Cmth)
  • Disability AmendmentAct 2012 – DHS Service Providers (Vic)
  • Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic)
  • Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
  • Information Privacy Act  2000 (Vic)
  • Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 Vic) – (This contains an agreed set of human rights,
  • reedoms and responsibilities protected by law.
  • Quality Framework for Disability Services in Victoria 2007
  • other relevant Commonwealth and State laws, policies and procedures.

This list was updated in Dec 2018.