What is Advocacy

Definition and Models of Disability Advocacy

In broad terms, advocacy for people with disability can be defined as speaking, acting or writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the interests of a disadvantaged person or group, in order to promote, protect and defend the welfare of and justice for either the person or group by:

  • Acting in a partisan manner (i.e. being on their side and no one else’s);
  • Being primarily concerned with their fundamental needs;
  • Remaining loyal and accountable to them in a way which is empathic and vigorous(whilst respecting the rights of others); and
  • Ensuring duty of care at all times.

Individual advocacy – seeks to uphold the rights and interests of people with all types of disabilities on a one-to-one basis by addressing instances of discrimination, abuse and neglect.


Individual advocates work with people on a short-term, issue-specific basis.

Individual advocates

  • work with people with a 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.

Southern Disability Advocacy provides individual advocacy.

Our Statement of Purpose

  • To provide an advocacy service for people with disabilities that represents and protects their rights and interests.
  • To assist people with disabilities to overcome barriers, including abuse and neglect, that impact on their daily life and ability to participate in the community.
  • To help people with disabilities access the freedoms, services and conditions enjoyed by other members of the community.

We work with people with all disabilities who are residents of Cities of Port Phillip, Stonnington, Bayside, Glen Eira, Kingston, Casey, Frankston & the Shire of Mornington Peninsula.


We are located in Mentone. Please call to see if we can assist. You can also find someone in your location. GET IN TOUCH | FIND SOMEONE IN YOUR AREA