By Us, For Us – Disability Messaging Guide

After months of collaboration and engagement with people with disability and advocates across the country, DANA is proud to announce the launch of the “By Us, For Us” disability messaging guide, developed in partnership with Australian Progress. This guide is a pivotal step towards reshaping public narratives and garnering support for transformative disability policy change.


The “By Us, For Us” guide is the culmination of an intensive research project aimed at shifting mainstream narratives about disability. By testing and developing messages that emphasise strengths and values, rather than deficit-based frames, we aim to build widespread public support for crucial policy changes.

It’s essential to recognize that mainstream narratives significantly impact public opinion and, consequently, political decisions. To create a more inclusive society, we must cultivate broad public support for transformative disability policy change. This involves not only shifting mainstream narratives but also influencing political decision-making processes.

This project builds on a successful theory of change for messaging that has proven effective in shifting national narratives on various social justice issues. By responding to the identified needs of disability advocates and considering external factors such as public sentiment and political opportunities, we believe this project can make a substantial impact.

The upcoming May 2024 Federal budget presents a critical opportunity to reshape media conversations about disability funding and support. By centering the strengths and self-determination of the disability community, we can create narratives that resonate with shared values and envision a future where people with disability lead fulfilling and independent lives.

The initial findings and recommendations from our research with Common Cause Australia will equip advocates and allies with the narrative tools needed to advocate for these changes effectively.

We invite you to download the “By Us, For Us” guide and join us in reshaping the narrative on disability policy change. Together, we can build a more inclusive and supportive society for all.