Summary

  • Getting to know other people who have the same disability as you can be a good way to get informal advice and support and to make friends.
  • Many national and state-based disability organisations run local support groups and self-advocacy groups.
  • You can find out about disability support groups and networks online.

Connecting with other people who have a disability and their families can be a good way of getting informal advice and support. You can get to know other people with disabilities through local support groups, disability organisations or online disability forums. 

Disability networks, support organisations and groups for people with disabilities

Contacting an organisation or community group that supports people with your specific disability can be a good way of meeting people, getting advice and sharing experiences.

Many national and state-based disability organisations run regular support group meetings and social activities. Some may also be active on social media and have online discussion forums where you can chat to other people with the same disability. Many also offer support for families.

Self-advocacy groups are run by people with disabilities who have joined together to have their voices heard and support each other. They work together to make sure people with a disability have the same rights, choices, and opportunities as anyone else. Investigating these disability groups online can be a good place start.

Networks and advocacy for people with disabilities

The following organisations provide networks or advocacy for people with disabilities:

Self Advocacy Groups

Organisations for people who are blind or visually impaired

Organisations for people who are deaf or hearing impaired

  • Better Hearing Australia (Vic) - anindependent not for profit hearing service
  • Deaf Australia - an advocacy and information organisation for Deaf people who are bilingual – using both English and Auslan
  • Deaf Children Australia - works to remove barriers to the personal development and social inclusion faced by children and young people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Deaf Sports Australia - facilitates and supports the participation of deaf Australians in all levels of sport
  • Deaf Victoria - a non profit organisation that provides information and referrals about deaf and deafness issues
  • vicdeaf - provides information, programs and education to deaf and hard of hearing adults through its diverse range of services

Organisations for people who are deafblind

  • Able Australia – offers support to people living with multiple disabilities

Organisations for people with intellectual disability

  • VALID Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) is an advocacy group for adults with intellectual disabilities and their families. VALID also supports a number of groups and runs the annual ‘Having a Say’ conference that connects people with intellectual disability.
  • Reinforce - self-advocacy group for people with an intellectual disability.

Organisations for people with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

  • arbias - provides support services to people with an ABI
  • BrainLink - provides support and services for people with an ABI and their families and carers
  • Brain Injury Matters - a self advocacy group for people with an ABI.

Organisations for people who have a mental health illness

The following organisations provide support for people with mental health issues:

Organisations for people with communication difficulties

The following organisations provide support to people with communication difficulties:

Organisations for people with education and training difficulties

The following organisations support people with education and training difficulties:

  • Down Syndrome Victoria - works to empower individuals with Down syndrome for a lifetime of meaningful inclusion in the community
  • Dyslexia Victoria - provides awareness and teaching solutions
  • SPELD Victoria - provides support for people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

Organisations for people with physical disabilities

The following organisations provide support for people with physical disabilities:

See also: A-Z of service profiles.

More information

Disability services topics

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Getting help

Planning for the future

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel - (need new cp)

Last updated: September 2015

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