Self-advocacy program

Self-advocacy means speaking up for yourself. It means people with intellectual disability can present their own views and make their own choices.

The VALID self-advocacy program builds the skills of people with disabilites to influence the policies and decisions of service providers and the community.

The VALID self-advocacy program

The VALID self-advocacy program supports:

  • The social empowerment of people with disabilities
  • Self-advocacy networks, committees and meetings for adults with disabilities to maximize their ability to influence the plans and decisions that affect their lives
  • People who use Victorian Government funded services across all four DHHS metropolitan divisions
  • People in both non-government and government services to promote self advocacy and self-determination

VALID is currently involved in four major initiatives:

  1. Strengthening resident empowerment in Disability Accommodation Services (DAS houses)
  2. Supporting the VALID Self-advocacy networks
  3. Strengthening self-determination in disability services 
  4. NDIS 101 Information sessions

VALID also provides self-advocacy training to build the skills and confidence of people with disabilities.

Strengthening resident empowerment

This initiative aims to promote the empowerment of people with disabilities living in Victorian Disability Accommodation Services (DAS) services. We provide support to:

  • Individual DAS houses to promote empowerment and self-determination, mainly through the establishment of resident meetings and assistance with pictorial information about processes
  • Individual DAS residents to assist their representation on consultative/advisory groups
  • Resident Focus Groups in both northern & western divisions
  • Speaking Up For Yourself (SUFY) groups in the eastern division
  • VALID also supports participation in quality assurance processes such as DAS group home audits

Supporting the VALID self-advocacy networks

VALID supports and maintains four self-advocacy networks in Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Melbourne.

Each self-advocacy network meets monthly to provide a forum for people with disabilities to strengthen their voices. The networks have a focus on inclusion, inviting guest speakers to deliver information that is specific to local communities. At the meetings, people with disabilities:

  • Speak up about rights
  • Assist members to develop & use their advocacy skills
  • Talk about issues and problems in order to create change
  • Assist members to learn new things and gain information
  • Empower members to speak up about things that are important to them
  • Meet new people & socialise with participants from other services
  • Provide a forum for government or other groups seeking feedback (views, ideas)

The Northern Network meetings are usually held on the first Wednesday of the month at St Peter's Church Hall on the corner of Grimshaw St & Monkton Rd Bundoora Northern Network Pamphlet 

The Southern Network meetings are usually held on the third Tuesday of the month at the Paddy O'Donohue Centre at 18-34 Buckley St Noble Park Southern Network Pamphlet

The Easter Network meetings are usually held on the third Monday of the month at the Maroondah Federation Estate (Room 1) at 32 Greenwood Ave Ringwood Eastern Network Pamphlet 

The Western Network meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of the month at the Maidstone Community Centre at 21 Yardley St Maidstone Western Network Pamphlet  

Strengthening self-determination in disability services

The VALID self-advocacy program supports day services and residential services with strategies that promote participant/resident involvement in both individual decision-making and organisational decision-making at every level.

NDIS 101 Information sessions

The VALID self-advocacy team currently offer one-off sessions in plain language to assist people with disabilities to understand and prepare for the tranistion to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). These sessions are available on request to Victorian Government funded specialist disability services.

More information on VALID programs and policies available in Client Info Handbook available here 

Contact Details

If you would like to inquire about the VALID self-advocacy program or want more information about other VALID services contact: the VALID office on 03 9416 4003 or email: 

Self Advocacy brochure