Women with Disabilities Victoria began as an informal network of volunteers that, in 1994, met regularly on the first Saturday of every month to discuss the needs of women with disabilities and to develop strategies to advance their interests. In 2010, the name of the organisation was changed from the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network to Women with Disabilities Victoria. Today, women with disabilities victoria is a fully incorporated, not for profit association governed by a Board of Directors that employs four permanent members of staff, as well as short term project staff. What started as a network with an inward focus on empowering its membership to learn their rights and find strength in unity has transformed into an organisation made up of empowered and passionate women with a determination to raise the consciousness of the community at large. Women with Disabilities Victoria currently has over 200 members, the vast majority of whom are women with disabilities who reside in Victoria. Membership is open to both individuals and to organisations who share their aims. Women with disabilities are amongst the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in the world and are less likely to be educated, employed and well-housed than almost any other member of the community. Women with disabilities are less likely than women without disabilities to receive appropriate health services, particularly breast and cervical cancer screening programs, bone density testing, menopause and incontinence management. Women with disabilities are more likely to have their human rights abused than women without disabilities or men with disabilities.
A world where all women are respected and can fully experience life.
To advance real social and economic inclusion for women with disabilities in Victoria, they will:
Be a voice for women with disabilities
Create opportunities for women with disabilities to be visible and to be heard in their communities
Build partnerships to deliver the best results for women with disabilties
Engage the community to challenge attitudes and myths about women with disabilities.
Their values uphold human rights and social justice.
Work with their members' experiences as women with disabilities
Provide specialist policy advice and representation to government
Create opportunities for women with disabilities to realise their leadership and advocacy potential
Adopt a collaborative approach to government and community organisations
Build the evidence base to develop and share knowledge and resources to inform best practice
Monitor their work and report on outcomes.
Their goals and priorities
Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) is an organisation of women with disabilities for women with disabilities.
WDV recognises that women with disabilities are among the most marginalised in their community and empowers women with disabilities to achieve their rights in Victoria.
They focus on those areas where gender inequity and/or disability have the biggest impact on the capacity of women with disabilities to be respected and to fully experience life.
Influence policy: Influence government and the community to recognize and remove barriers to full participation by women with disabilities
Empower women: Engage and empower women with disabilities to lead and influence their communities
Influence services: Educate and build the capacity of service systems and organisations to be accessible to women with disabilities.
Violence: Prevent and respond to violence and abuse against women with disabilities
NDIS: Work to make the NDIS relevant and responsive to women with disabilities and empower women to engage with the new system
Health: Promote access to health services for women with disabilities.
In focusing on their priority areas, they will respond to the social determinants of health for women with disabilities, promoting access to housing and employment for women with disabilities through their representation and policy work.
Guided by their members, they will wherever possible respond to new and emerging issues to stay relevant and reflect the concerns of women with disabilities.
Where is Women with Disabilities Victoria