Key Principles for Disability Advocacy Organisations
To achieve the advocacy goals, disability advocacy organisations should strive for the following in their service delivery:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.