Advocacy

We work to create change and make sure people understand the experiences of people with Down syndrome and their families. You can find out more about our advocacy work below.
Advocacy thumbnail.

Down Syndrome Australia provides systemic advocacy on behalf of people with Down syndrome and their families. We work to create change and make sure people understand the experiences of people with Down syndrome and their families.

Systemic advocacy seeks to influence and change a ‘system’ such as legislation, government policy and community attitudes.

All our work is informed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

We work in partnership with the Down Syndrome Advisory Network in all of our advocacy work.

We are working on issues which are important to people with Down syndrome and their families and communities. Our advocacy work addresses key issues like:

  • NDIS
  • Prenatal screening
  • Access to appropriate health care
  • Inclusive education
  • Employment
  • Migration

In 2019 we developed an advocacy platform called Leave No One Behind. We identified the priorities by talking to people with Down syndrome and their families. An easy read version is also available: Leave No One Behind – Easy Read.

You can have a look at some of our submissions to Government. We also have policy position statements on key issues.

Claire Mitchell Presenting
Leave No One Behind thumbnail
Leave No One Behind
Leave No One behind
Leave No One Behind – Easy Read

Individual advocacy

  • Individual advocacy is one-on-one support provided to a person to prevent or address instances of unfair treatment or abuse. Individual advocacy helps make sure the voice of the person with disability is heard on a particular issue that matters to them. Individual advocacy supports people to express their views and concerns, access information and services, and explore choices and options.
  • If you are having difficulties and need individual advocacy, you can contact your state or territory association to find out more about what is available.
  • There is a national network of disability advocates who can provide advice and assistance. You can find a contact for your local advocacy organisation here.

Advocacy

A young woman stands outdoors with her family

Systemic Advocacy

Down Syndrome Australia does systemic advocacy. This means speaking out for Australians with Down syndrome and their families.

A man stands and speaks to a man in a wheelchair

We speak out about things like legislation and government policies.

These are laws and rules that sometimes stop people with Down syndrome having the same rights as other people.

The United Nations logo

Down Syndrome Australia follows the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UNCRPD is about the rights of all people with disabilities.

Down Syndrome Australia says what needs to be changed so that Australians with Down syndrome have their rights.

Kylie Scott giving a speech

We also speak out to help other people have a better understanding of Down syndrome.

This is to help people with Down syndrome.
be welcomed and included in their community.

Down syndrome Advisory Network members stand together outdoors

We work together with the Down Syndrome Advisory Network (DSAN).

The DSAN is a group of people with Down syndrome. They make sure we know what is important to people with Down syndrome.

Leave No One Behind thumbnail

In 2019, we wrote a paper called Leave No-one Behind.

It is about the problems that need to be fixed so that people with Down syndrome aren’t worse off than other people.

A man holds a ticklist with crosses

People with Down syndrome and their families told us these problems were the most important:

NDIS
Prenatal screening
Getting good health care
Inclusive education
Employment
Migration

A woman holds a document with the words Easy Read

There is an Easy Read copy of Leave No-one Behind.

You can also read about other systemic advocacy in the links at the bottom of this page.

A person supports a person with Down syndrome

Individual Advocacy

This is helping people to speak out when they have been treated unfairly or they’ve been hurt or abused.

A man with Down syndrome speaks while a woman listens

Individual advocacy helps people to have their voice heard.

A man and a woman talking to each other

It also helps people to get the information and support they need and think about what they can choose to do.

map of Australia with Down syndrome Australia logo

There is an Australian network of disability advocates who can give you help and advice.

If you need help to find individual advocacy in your area, contact your state or territory Down syndrome organisation.