1.3 Accessibility of resources 

DARU was consistently regarded as being inclusive of advocates, self advocates and all people with a disability. Some organisations offered suggestions on how to improve access to its resources for people with a disability, with the confidence that DARU will listen to their suggestions.

This section of the report seeks to identify what is needed for disability advocacy organisations to be able to access DARU resources.


Overstretched Sector

The time-poor, funding-poor and part-time nature of the advocacy sector means most organisations and their advocates are simply managing day-to-day activities and not engaging in short or medium-term planning for their organisation, nor collating data to inform systemic advocacy issues. Most organisations have a handful of advocates working part-time and covering large geographical areas. As such, it is imperative that DARU provide resources and services to its stakeholders in a targeted and accessible manner.

Adding pressure to the ability of organisations to send staff to training is the voluntary nature of advocacy and citizen advocacy in particular, but also the need to backfill positions across the disability advocacy sector if advocates attend events.


Timing Issues (Regional and Metropolitan)

While regional advocacy organisations are highly engaged with DARU and regularly attend training or forums, there are opportunities to improve accessibility. Seven of the eight regional organisations would like to see training and forums continue to be provided in regional areas. It was suggested that training could be rotated around central locations, such as Ballarat, Colac, Benalla or Gippsland.

Project stakeholders also wanted training and forums held in Melbourne to continue to start at 10am or later, to allow regional and outer metro advocacy organisations adequate time to travel into the CBD. They also identified opportunities to target resources to organisations operating in outer and inner Melbourne.