There is a thorough lay-person’s guide to disability discrimination law in Word and PDF form can be found at the Australian Centre for Disability Law (ACDL) site but it is hidden away under a confusing link . It not only gives a thorough over-view of the law, but also gives a practical and realistic how-to.Don’t be put off by the length. But if you do have dyslexia or a reading disability, you might want to have a look at the summaries on the ACDL website. However, they are rather poorly labelled too.
Summaries: http://disabilitylaw.org.au/ (go to the lower left-and corner of the page)
The Australian Human Rights Commission website is similarly daunting, although this time it is over-crowded. If you Google an idea, and Google sends you to the relevant AHRC page, then you are probably going to get some good information (certainly better than Wikipedia. However, This is probably the best place to start than the home page: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/know-your-rights-disability-discrimination . This is a little brochure giving an outline of how the complaints process works at the AHRC https://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaint-process-complaints-about-sex-race-disability-and-age-discrimination
Advocates can be quite helpful. A good advocacy organisation will act like a group of savvy friends who can help with navigating the system and overcoming the difficult people within it. There are a variety of different organisations whose usefulness will depend on the location and the disability issue: There are a few directories of advocacy organisations that overlap :
PWDA Directory: http://www.pwd.org.au/library/australian-advocacy-directory.html
Getting heard when trouble strikes:
Ok to be honest, I have had quite a few people tell me that discrimination law is probably your last resort when you are not being treated right. Its often better to try and use the mechanisms set up for citizens without disabilities.
PCDN has a nice directory for people in New South Wales explaining where to go when th
Getting heard online:
Don’t underestimate the power of social media to get your message across. Videos of horrific discrimination have gone viral multiple times, online petitions get results, and well…Facebook is a ginormous juggernaut of power. If someone has mistreated or discriminated against you, or you need something to change, you can try the following:
The disability clothesline project is designed to encourage people with disabilities to speak out about violence, abuse and neglect. They have a web page: www.disabilityclothesline.weebly.com, and multiple Facebook groups both open and closed. The main one is closed and it is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/disabilityclothesline/
There are also two “wall of shame” groups where you can post people who violate your disability:
Many of the organisations listed as offering help with self-advocacy are also involved in advocating for systemic change.
People with Disabilities Australia is one organisation I have been in contact with personally. They are a broad-based group. You might like to go there and look at their list of disability advocacy groups to find one that specialises in an issue you are interested in
I personally used the PWD Daily Media Roundup to stay in touch with what is happening regarding disability issues in Australia and around the world. I have it delivered to my inbox, but you can also look at it on the site.
IDEAS (Information on Disability Education and Awareness Services) has an “upcoming events” list. The event are as much social and educational as they are political.
PDCN’s latest news page includes lots of surveys and consultations that can give people with physical disabilities a say. https://www.pdcnsw.org.au/latest-news/
Other Disability Directories:
https://www.pdcnsw.org.au/useful-resources/ offers a very comprehensive overview of resources for people with physical disabilities, but many are only relevant to people in New South Wales. It includes a range of resources that people with physical disabilities can use themselves, as well as those you can refer others to. However, it may be a little overwhelming, and it could benefit from more organisation.
Being Disability Friendly
The Auslan (Australian sign language) dictionary enables you to show respect for deaf people in your life by finding a sign or two.