Deaf Victoria has joined with fourteen other groups across Victoria to urge the Minister for Disability, the Hon. Lizzie Blandthorn, to provide emergency funding for disability advocacy.

NDIS Capacity Building Project

Deaf Victoria Capacity Building Project

Funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Project Background:

Deaf Victoria’s Capacity Building project was funded by the NDIA Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Grant and delivered organisational and individual capacity building activities across Victoria.


In late 2017, Deaf Victoria endorsed a new five (5) year strategic plan for 2018 – 2023. The new mission for Deaf Victoria is to advance the needs and aspirations of Deaf and hard of hearing people, break down barriers and build foundations for a society that acknowledges and celebrations their contributions and capacities.

The new strategic plan positions Deaf Victoria to be a leading user-led organisation for Deaf and hard of hearing people living in Victoria. To ensure we are able to fully implement the strategic plan, Deaf Victoria invested into our Board and staff to ensure we have the capacity and ‘know how’ to meet the expectations of our community and industry. We began this journey towards increasing our capacity. As a user-led organisation, we received seed funding from the Victorian Government through the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) Strengthening Our Sector Resilience Project. The aim of this project was to strengthen disability information and advocacy services to develop a capacity building road map for Deaf Victoria to strengthen our position and capacity to be a more effective user-led organisation representing Deaf and hard of hearing Victorians in the future.

Project Aims:

1. Capacity building for Deaf Victoria staff and board

Areas of focus: 

  • Building skills and capacity for individuals and as a team 
  • Succession planning 
  • Identify future volunteers 

Resulting in: 

  • Board and staff are better equipped and skills to enact the strategic plan 
  • Collaboration with sector service providers 
  • Positive negotiation and advocacy outcomes for clients 
  • Increased profile of the organisation and representation of community 
  • Cultural Competency Training with the Koorie Heritage trust for Deaf Victoria Board and staff.

2. Capacity building for individuals in the Victorian Deaf Community

Areas of focus: 

  • Build an understanding of self-advocacy 
  • Increasing skills and capacity for individuals around advocacy 

Resulting in: 

  • Increased ability to manage NDIS package for eligible participants and self-advocate 
  • Increased confidence to access mainstream services where appropriate or for those not eligible for the NDIS
  • Engagement of community representatives to assist with co-design and development of the Individual Advocacy training.

Project Workshops:

As part of the Deaf Victoria Capacity Building Project, funded by the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Grant (ILC) we hosted two exciting series of workshops for the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

Workshop 1: Your Rights as a Deaf Person

Your Rights as a Deaf Person & Self Advocacy – what your rights are and how you can empower yourself to advocate for your needs.


This workshop was delivered by Philip Waters from Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) on Monday 5th October 2020.


Philip talked about how we can have our rights recognised and the laws used in Victoria where our rights are recognised. He will also talk about the human rights approach.


You can view the workshop HERE.

Workshop 2: Deaf People and Advocacy

Deaf People and Advocacy – what does advocacy mean? How do we self-advocate well? How can you empower yourself through advocacy?


This was delivered by Melissa Hale from Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) on Tuesday 6th October 2020.


Melissa takes you through the foundations of advocacy and she provides tips on self-advocacy and what it means to you, and how you can empower yourself through advocacy.


You can view the workshop HERE.

Project Partners:

Expression Australia
As part of the Expression Australia Deaf Leadership Program, the Governance module was developed to meet the needs of the Deaf Victoria and with input from our board members. In addition, as part of this ILC grant, Deaf Victoria board and staff will be admitted to this program and was involved in the overall course design.  Expression Australia has also been providing support to Deaf Victoria to improve and update their governance and quality documents. 

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit
We worked with DARU to develop a self-advocacy workshop for Deaf and hard of hearing people living in Victoria. 

Bendigo Deaf Hub
We engaged with Bendigo Deaf Hub to provide them with an opportunity to participate in the individual capacity building project, as their outreach work in regional Victoria is instrumental and to increase their knowledge in advocacy skills and human rights.

Impact Co
We engaged with Impact Co to help us to develop the Governance Module as a part of the training package for the Board, as well as the Deaf Leadership Program. The design of the program and governance module is being informed by three deaf trainers to ensure content produced is culturally appropriate and accessible. Impact Co also developed an evaluation toolkit which will better equip Deaf Victoria for current and future projects. 

Approach and Outputs:

  • Establish an advisory group for project updates, advice, and inputs.
  • Partner with Expression Australia for mentoring opportunities with board and staff of Deaf Victoria. 
  • Engage with Impact Co to develop the governance training package for the Board and for the Deaf Leadership Program.
  • Update Deaf Victoria quality and Board governance documentation with support from culturally competent Deaf Community leaders.
  • Develop self-advocacy training workshops with advocacy experts from Deaf Victoria and the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit for deaf and hard of hearing people in Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong.
  • Develop self-advocacy resources and tools following advocacy training and input from community.

The project was governed by a Project Advisory Group, consisting
of the following members:

  • Maxine Buxton, Deaf Victoria (Chair)
  • Brent Phillips, Expression Australia
  • Melissa Hale, Disability Advocacy Resource Unit
  • Sherrie Beaver, Deaf Victoria (Project Coordinator)

For more information about this project, please contact us at    

Contact Us

Alternatively please send us a message using the form below.