Women with Disabilities Victoria
Women with Disabilities Victoria is the peak body of women with disabilities in Victoria. We exist to lead the way for Victorian women with disabilities and improve women’s choices by being a voice for women with disabilities, building partnerships, providing information and educating the community.
We focus on those areas which have the biggest impact on women's lives – currently, violence against women with disabilities and access to health care. We also have a secondary focus on parenting rights and employment equality.
Our work includes providing support and resources to women with disabilities in leadership roles, working with community services and organisations to ensure they are inclusive of women with disabilities, ensuring services for people with disabilities consider a gender perspective that is responsive to women with disabilities, working in partnership with other disability and women’s organisations, encouraging and undertaking research on issues affecting women with disabilities, and providing a voice for women with disabilities to influence government policy and legislation.
Individual women with disabilities can join WDV, get regular information from WDV E-News, and become co-facilitators for Workforce Development Program.
Workforce Development Program on Gender and Disability
The Workforce Development Program on Gender and Disability is designed to change culture across whole organisations, working with clients, staff, managers and executives in the disability sector. The aim of the program is to increase awareness of how to deliver gender equitable and sensitive services. Its overarching purpose is to contribute to improving women’s wellbeing and status, and reduce gender based violence.
Enlightening, it really opened
my eyes. I will never look at
things in the same way.
The need for violence prevention programs tailored for people with disabilities and the disability sector is well supported. The higher risks of violence against women with disabilities is documented in research such as Voices Against Violence and Stop the Silence. Further, the National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey and the Scope 1 in 4 Poll have findings indicating a need for tailored prevention programs on violence against women with disabilities.
I have observed a marked difference between staff who have completed the training and those that have not, in their approaches to working with women with disabilities.
The program includes workshops with disability support workers, service managers and senior executives; peer education programs for women with disabilities; advanced Train the Trainer modules; and follow-up communities of practice.
Having an open mind
and giving things a go,
can lead to great things.
Fundamental to the program is training women with disabilities to cofacilitate the training. This is done alongside violence prevention trainers from women’s health, violence prevention and response services. The centrality and partnership with women with disabilities in the design and delivery of the Program has a powerful impact on participants and is a stand-out success of the program. The program has been independently evaluated, with findings available here.
There has been a shift in our conversations since the training. Now when we have conversations, we discuss concepts of gender as a point in decision making.
Women with disabilities can become co-facilitators of the program, or get involved in our other programs by getting in touch with us. Organisations can also partner with WDV on this and other programs that we run to support leadership development of women with disabilities.
I wasn’t aware of my own opinions and beliefs. It made me, in the workplace and my personal life, be more aware of gender and how it plays out in my life.
Check out the range of activities that Women with Disabilities Victoria are supporting to prevent violence against women.