Citizen advocacy – seeks to support people with a disability (also called protégés) by matching them with volunteers. Some of the matches made may last for life.
Through citizen advocacy:
- people with disability who are isolated with no family or community supports or networks are sought out
- volunteers are encouraged to represent the interests of a person with a disability as if they were their own and be free from conflict of interest
- volunteers are recruited, trained and supported by a coordinator who manages the work of the citizen advocacy agency.
Family advocacy – works with parents and family members to enable them to act as advocates with and on behalf of a family member with disability. Family advocates work with parents and family members on either a short-term or an issue-specific basis. Family advocates work within the fundamental principle that the rights and interests of the person with disability are upheld at all times.
Through family advocacy:
- family members are provided with advice and support;
- the person with disability is assisted via the family member being directly supported by the agency to advocate on their behalf.
Individual advocates work with people with disability on either a short-term or issue-specific basis.
- work with people with disability requiring one-to-one advocacy support;
- develop a plan of action (sometimes called an individual advocacy plan) in partnership with the person with a disability that maps out clearly defined goals;
- educate people with disability about their rights; and
- work through the individual advocacy plan in partnership with the person with a disability.
Legal advocates may:
- provide legal representation for people with disability as they come into contact with the justice system;
- pursue positive changes to legislation for people with disability; and
- assist people with disability to understand their legal rights.
Through self advocacy:
- advocates work with people with disability to develop their personal skills and self-confidence to enable them to advocate on their own behalf.
- people with disability are educated about their rights.
Systemic advocacy – seeks to influence or secure positive long-term changes that remove barriers and address discriminatory practices to ensure the collective rights and interests of people with disability are upheld.
The systemic advocacy agency:
- pursues positive changes to legislation, policy and service practices in partnership with groups of people with disability, advocacy agencies and other relevant organisations;
- seeks to address barriers and discriminatory practices to produce long-term positive changes.