Individual advocacy is one-on-one assistance for a person with disabilities to help solve a problem. Individual advocacy helps you to speak up about what you want, get the information you need to make your own decisions, and to explore the choices you want to make.
Advocates work with people on all kinds of problems. The problem might be that you want to take control of your own money, but you’re not sure how or if you’re allowed to. Or it might be that someone has hit or abused you, stopped you from seeing important people, or taken away your belongings. Or, you might have a problem with your NDIS funding or services and you need help to understand how to fix it. There are lots of reasons why people call VALID to ask for an advocate.
Advocates work with people to fix the problem as soon as possible, and we don’t stay involved for a long time. We work with you to agree on an advocacy goal and then figure out together who will do what. There might need to be a few people involved, and some meetings, to get the problem sorted out. We can also help with guardianship and administration orders (VCAT), and can help you make formal complaints to statutory bodies (e.g. the Disability Services Commission). VALID also supports family members of people with intellectual disabilities as they advocate with or for the person.
VALID is funded by the Victorian State Government as the peak state-wide advocacy body for people with intellectual disabilities.
Systemic advocacy is the work we do to make changes to big systems like the NDIS, government policies and legislation, disability services, health and education services, the justice system, etc. VALID staff and self-advocates attend working groups and committees to have a say about what people with intellectual disabilities want and need. We also write reports and submissions to government inquiries, and we sometimes talk to the media about what’s happening for people with intellectual disabilities. If you want to be part of our systemic advocacy work, get in touch!
Requesting a VALID Advocate
VALID works with adults with intellectual disabilities who live in Victoria who have a current advocacy issue. Advocates aren’t always available at short notice, and we make decisions about advocacy requests depending on the type of problem and how urgent it is. There are details about you that we will need before we can start working with you, and we will ask for your consent to talk to other people.
If you would like to talk to an advocate about an advocacy issue please fill out the request form and email to: [email protected]