Social Role Valorisation

Citizen Advocacy is underpinned by a powerful social science framework known as Social Role Valorisation.  SRV is an empirically based theory that guides Capricorn Citizen Advocacy’s work and helps us understand why people with disability are often devalued.  It provided a dynamic set of ideas useful for making positive change in the lives of people disadvantaged because of their status in society.

SRV also tells us that the best ways to shift the devalued status of a person with disability are to support the person to take part and contribute in the community through valued social roles; to pay attention to the image of the person and those that support the person; and develop and increase the person’s skills and competencies.

Social Role Valorisation starts with the assumption that all societies tend to “devalue” (or not treat as valuable) certain classes of people, usually those who represent the opposite of what is valued in the society.  Australian society perceives a disability to be a negative attribute and one which has been associated with many misleading and very damaging perceptions which have caused great harm to people with disabilities.

The consequence of this has created a situation whereby today, people with disabilities continue to be treated in a negative and devalued manner, with often little or no consideration for their personal attributes, competencies and potential for development.

Social Role Valorisation was formulated in 1983 by Wolf Wolfensberger, Ph.D. and asserts that association with people, roles and situations that are valued by society will enhance the image and value of people with disabilities and lead to their wider participation in society and the enhancement of their competencies and opportunities.

Capricorn Citizen Advocacy is funded by the Queensland Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

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