How to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities

Disability advocacy for children is all about representing, speaking up for, or writing to promote, protect and defend the rights of children with disabilities.  Children’s disabilities often include impairments of physical, sensory or. mental functions that may affect their abilities to undertake activities or participate in community life.


If you genuinely care about your cause, you have the potential to be an effective advocate. Advocacy requires a great deal of patience, it involves perseverance and persuasion, all of which you need to ensure the participant gets the support they require. When you are passionate about your cause, this will be evident to your audience, and your message will come across stronger and clearer.


Sadly, it is often the case around the world that children’s rights are not respected or given much importance.  Young people may find that they have little input on the issues and policies that affect them. Without adequate support and family-friendly resources, parents can struggle to stay strong and keep their family together, placing their children at risk.


Children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care, like so many in Australia are particularly susceptible to the worst children’s rights violations, including mistreatment, physical abuse, child labour, violence or sex trafficking.


CDSS is particularly committed to advocating for disabled children & their families & seeks to provide the support that will amplify disabled children’s needs & voices.  Our aim is to bring the needs of children with disabilities to the forefront of policy and decision making of governments & public institutions. Working with governments, communities and other partners, CDSS also battles for beneficial policy changes, to help ensure children with special needs, who have lost parental care or are at risk of losing it, are appropriately cared for.


In a nutshell advocates need to learn the skills listed below to enact the conditions that will support the development of special needs children to the fullest.  These include:


  • Learning all You Can About Your Child’s Special Needs.
  • Asking Lots of Questions and Listening to answers.
  • Becoming a Pseudo-Lawyer in Special Education Law.
  • Always avoiding the ‘blame game’.
  • Being a Problem-Solver, Not a Problem-Maker.
  • Thining & Planning Long-Term.