The Making Advocacy Accessible project is a major focus for the Commons Library in 2023. With guidance from People With Disability Australia and the Council for Intellectual Disability the project will improve access to educational resources, showcase campaigns run by people with disability, and encourage civil society to lower barriers to participation.

The Commons Library equips people to be active citizens, influence public policy and engage in political structures. Many people experience barriers to being active citizens due to difficulty accessing and understanding advocacy resources.

Through the Make Advocacy Accessible project the Commons Library will: 

  • Make the Commons Library more accessible via means such as translating resources into Easy Read and updating our site design; 
  • Source content for the library focused on skills, information and stories of successful advocacy relevant to people with disability;
  • Promote accessibility measures to people and organisations engaged in social change through a webinar and guides to making events (online and offline) accessible, information about relevant technology, consultation processes and more. 

The Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) will run a training session on Easy Read for Commons Library staff and volunteers, test Easy Read resources we develop, and coach us on the design and writing of resources. This will result in a suite of Easy Read materials on the Commons Library as well ongoing capacity to make further resources accessible. 

People With Disabilities Australia (PWDA) will provide consultancy services on accessibility issues and speak at a Commons hosted webinar for the social change sector. 

In helping to remove barriers to general resources and information the project will more effectively open up the Commons collection to the community. It will also assist its staff and volunteers to share and promote best practice regarding accessibility with others in the advocacy sector. The improved access that will flow from this will better equip people with disability to be active citizens, influence public policy and engage in political structures in regards to a range of issues. 

The inclusion of extra materials and case studies specifically related to advocacy in the disability sector will provide all working on disability related issues with access to information regarding innovations and best practice.

Stay tuned for new guides, campaign stories, and Easy Read materials. In the meantime you can check out our existing disability justice and accessibility resources and listen to episode 1 of Commons Conversations podcast

The Making Advocacy Accessible project is funded by the State Trustees Victoria.

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