For over 30 years the deafblind community has been working tirelessly to lobby for the support people who are deafblind require to ensure real community and social inclusion and advocate for the rights of people who are deafblind.
In 2007 some concerned members of the deafblind community felt it was vital to set up a Self Advocacy group for people who are deafblind so our voices could be heard, we felt people who are deafblind are too often unseen and unheard; we are a community without a voice.
Self advocacy is important to the DeafBlind Community because it is one way to raise awareness of deafblind issues, lobby for change and break down the barriers that severely restrict our life choices. These barriers include the lack of:
- Access to information in appropriate formats
- Communication access including accessible technology
- Trained and experienced Auslan interpreters
- Understanding of the support needs of people with differing levels of impairment.
Currently DeafBlind Victoria (DBV) is the only self advocacy group in Australia which is run by and for people with deafblindness. DBV works to give a voice to the deafblind community and to ensure people with deafblindness are included in all aspects of society such as employment, education, arts and culture, sport and leisure, housing and support options, policy development and ensure that our right to self-determination is promoted and protected.
“We want Deafblind people to learn about their rights and about
speaking up in their community.”