5.4 DARU Update weekly e-mail 


Resource description

DARU produces a weekly email update that is distributed to a list of over 500 people across the disability advocacy sector, disability workers, service providers and the wider community. The DARU Update provides information on:

  • news and articles in the media that are relevant to disability advocacy
  • new resources available
  • inquiries and campaigns
  • upcoming events
  • available paid and voluntary positions.

All articles included in the weekly email are published on the DARU web page, through a fully searchable online resource library. Articles can be filtered by topic, medium (conference paper, survey, resource kit etc), author and source.

Of the 28 organisations interviewed through this project, 27 were receiving the email at the time of the interview, as shown in Figure 5.2 below.


Figure 5.2 Subscription rate amongst interviewed organisations

Figure 5.2 Subscription rate amongst interviewed organisations


Interview findings

Of the 28 disability advocacy organisations interviewed, only one was not subscribed to the weekly email and this organisation indicated it would now subscribe.

Overwhelmingly the responses about the DARU weekly email update were positive, with organisations using it to keep up-to-date on issues across the Victorian and national disability advocacy sectors. Seven organisations commented that they regularly advertise positions or promote their activities and events in the weekly email update.

Most organisations reported that the DARU email was one of the best available or that it was one of the best resources provided by DARU to the sector. Only minimal suggestions were made for improvements, including:

  • One organisation said that the email should be re-written into plain English; however, DARU simply sources original articles, and so is not able to re-write these each week given current resourcing levels.
  • Two organisations thought a table of contents might be useful, but only if it was a few lines long so people still scroll down.
  • One organisation suggested hyperlinks be included (which have since been introduced).
  • One organisation commented that the email was too long to read every week.
  • Another suggestion was for a bulletin section for advocates.
  • One organisation suggested a permanent section flagging DARU resources to keep them front-of-mind in organisations.

Organisations tended to make use of the email in three ways:

  • to keep across issues and events in the sector
  • as a resource to forward onto their contacts
  • as a vehicle to circulate information on their activities or to advertise positions amongst the broader disability community.

None of the organisations interviewed were aware of the online resource library of articles from the weekly email update. At first glance it could be argued that this resource be discontinued; however, it is a useful tool for DARU to keep track of its online resources and takes minimal time to maintain. As such, it should be retained in its current form with no changes beyond any required by DARU itself. Given the value of the DARU weekly email update to advocacy organisations, the community and broader disability sector, it should be promoted more widely to increase its reach across disability, the community and government.