Deaf Victoria provides advocacy for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities in Victoria with funding received from the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Advocacy is about making a change or representing Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in various settings through supporting or standing alongside an individual who is in need and speaking out on their behalf. We act in response to the community’s needs and are concerned with basic rights, accessibility and needs to promote and defend Deaf and Hard of Hearing people’s wellbeing and social justice.

There are two types of advocacy: Individual and Systemic. Deaf Victoria does both.

Individual advocacy
Focusing on one person’s rights and needs and advocating with and for them. Examples include workplace, legal and educational issues.

Systemic advocacy
Focusing on the whole community’s rights and needs. Examples include the Hospital Review and Community Consultations on the NDIS.

What can Deaf Victoria do?

  • Act as an advocate or support person for people and make complaints and advocate on the person’s behalf;
  • Provide information about various services and advocacy support and make referrals where needed;
  • Inform both the individual and community about their rights and responsibilities;
  • Empower the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community to take action, wherever possible;
  • Create links to broader community and service networks;
  • Provide policy developments, reforms and planning for future services;
  • Facilitate workshops that provide information to clients, service providers and the wider community;
  • Collect and analyse information from Victorian Government and others to enhance quality of information for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Victorians;
  • Maintain relationships with various groups to meet or promote the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

Deaf Victoria does not:

  • Provide legal advice – but Deaf Victoria can refer you to the appropriate services;
  • Take over a client’s case;
  • Make decisions for the client’
  • Promote helplessness or dependency;
  • Provide counselling;
  • Provide interpreters;
  • Share client information without consent.

Examples of Systemic Advocacy

  • Auslan Training at TAFES
  • Auslan Video Relay Interpreting
  • Emergency Services
  • Review of Deaf Education
  • Inquiry into Auslan Interpreting in Hospitals Project

Current Systemic Advocacy Cases

  • Community consultation into the NDIS

If you have an issue you need some support with, Deaf Victoria will meet with you at a location of your choice to ensure that your privacy and confidentiality is protected. All support is provided free of charge.

You have the right to complain or give feedback to Deaf Victoria about our service. If you wish to make a complaint or give feedback you can do so here or you can email or write to us.