Advocacy plays a critical role in ensuring that the rights and interests of people with disability are respected and realised.
Our advocacy services involve speaking, acting or writing to promote and protect the best interests and well being of individuals with a disability.
Communication Rights Australia advocacy aims to ensure that the rights of the people with little or no speech are upheld and that these people are supported to make their own decisions, particularly those where the outcomes affect their lives.
Strategies may include representing people with little or no speech, making referrals to the appropriate people to affect resolution of complaints, and influencing policies and practices to promote fair treatment and social justice for all people.
The Human Rights Framework
At an international level there has been significant movement towards greater protection of the rights of people with disabilities. A key development is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention was adopted by the United Nations in 2006. There were 82 signatories to the Convention, the highest number of signatories in the history of a UN Convention on its opening day. On July 18th, 2008 the Australian Parliament ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Convention details explicit rights for persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with disabilities have human rights and fundamental freedoms. It qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities.
The Convention includes specific rights concerning people with communication or speech difficulties. It defines ‘Communication’ as including augmentative and alternative modes (AAC), and also provides for rights to receive information and to express oneself in these modes. It commits State parties to facilitating the full and equal participation of AAC users in education and as members of the community. The Convention commits State parties to employing teachers who are trained in these methods (Articles 2, 21,24).
The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities is an Act of Parliament which sets out rights, freedoms and responsibilities for all Victorians. The Charter focuses on civil and political rights. It places obligations upon the Government, public servants, local councils, Victorian police and funded service providers to act in a way that is consistent with the human rights protected under the Charter.
Click to view the report Mind the Gap