Advocacy means promoting, protecting and supporting the full and equal human rights of people, often described as “standing up for yourself and others”.


People with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have human rights that are sometimes not recognised or upheld.  They may want or need a trusted person to help them speak out and defend their rights or at times advocate on their behalf. The advocate may be a family member, carer, friend or they may be a professional advocate who is paid to advocate for others.

There are six main types of advocacy:

  1. Self advocacy – people stand up for themselves or are supported to do so
  2. Family advocacy – families stand up for themselves or are supported to do
  3. Citizen advocacy – a member of the community is matched with a person on a voluntary basis to provide ongoing one to one advocacy
  4. Individual advocacy – an advocate supports an individual or family to stand up for their rights and needs.
  5. Legal advocacy – an advocate represents and defends the legal rights of another and has legal qualifications
  6. Systemic advocacy – an individual or group seeks to lobby for reform and change of social systems and structures that discriminate against, abuse or neglect the rights of others.


DDWA Services

DDWA supports people with disability and their families to stand up for themselves or will advocate on their behalf, across all areas of life, such as education, employment, recreation, guardianship and health.

Our specialist advocacy service supports:

  • People with complex communication needs and little or no speech
  • People with an intellectual disability or other developmental disability such as autism who may also behave in challenging ways
  • Parents with an intellectual disability

Cost – This is a free service.

Woman on the phone


Standing up for Someone you Love

Standing Up for Someone You Love

Getting Help From An Advocate

Easy to Understand Resources

Click on the link to go to our Easy Read page where you can find accessible resources and information on Advocacy and many other topics.


people at a meeting

Advocacy in Schools

By DDWA Team
There will always be a role for professional advocates to support families to deal with difficult negotiations, particularly when a situation becomes stuck or an impasse is reached. The knowledge that a professional advocate brings, regarding the laws and standards…