‘Our organisation believes in equal participation by all people in our community. As a significant provider of legal services in Victoria we have a responsibility to address barriers and challenges that restrict the access of many Victorians to the justice system, including people with disability,’ said CEO Louise Glanville.
This DAP, which has been co-designed with people with disability, sets out our objectives for the next four years. An annual Implementation Plan with accountability for timelines, activities and measures to track how we are progressing will sit underneath it.
We launched the DAP at an online event featuring founder and Principal lawyer of Equality Lawyers and Special Advisor to the Disability Royal Commission, Natalie Wade. In her keynote address, Ms Wade spoke about the role of public policy and law reform in creating truly inclusive cultures:
‘The conversation we have about disability as a community is still at odds with an inclusive model that looks empowering and feels welcoming. This is the vital role laws and public policies make. When we change laws and public policies, we set a different expectation and we have a different conversation,’ said Natalie.
Our key disability objectives
- Establish and support a Victoria Legal AId disability lived-experience advisory group to better understand client experiences and to inform and co-design service, policy, and practice improvements and/or changes.
- Improve on and consider different ways people with disability access information and enter our services.
- Improve the way we ask for and record information about people with disability who are seeking our help.
- Improve the way we deliver information and services to people with disability
- Align our service range, eligibility guidelines and processes to meet the needs of people with disability.
- Support the Victoria Legal Aid Disability Employee Network to inform and influence our workplace policies, practices and culture.
- Improve our understanding of our disability workforce through better data.
- Build a disability-positive, safe and inclusive workplace culture.
- Provide better support to staff members with disability and intersectional factors that impact on them and ensure our workplace is accessible.
- Ensure recruitment processes are accessible and equitable.
- Improve career pathways and professional development opportunities for staff with disability.
- Embed a focus on disability, and include disability lived experience perspectives and expertise, in all Victoria Legal Aid work.
- Proactively engage with and build stronger relationships with organisations that represent and work with people with disability.
- Advocate for and promote cultural and attitudinal change in the broader community to benefit people with disability.
‘The DAP adds to the suite of plans under our Inclusion Framework that assists us to be more mindful and purposeful in understanding and working with people’s lived experience. Our implementation of the commitments in the DAP will help us to create a safer and disability-positive culture that will benefit our staff and those who use our services. Of course, it also contributes to healthy communities more broadly.’ said Louise.
Read a Disability Action Plan 2022–25 plain language summary.
Reviewed 14 April 2022