Social Role Valorisation

Social Role Valorisation was formulated in 1983 by Wolf Wolfensberger, Ph.D. and asserts that if people with disabilities are associated with valued people, are in roles valued by society and are integrated in typical environments, then this 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.

Citizen Advocacy is a practical enactment of 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 provides 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.

SRV starts with the assumption that all societies tend to “devalue” (or not treat as valuable) certain characteristics or classes of people, usually those that represent the opposite of what is valued in the society. Australian society perceives a disability to be a negative attribute thus resulting in many misleading and very damaging mindsets which have caused great harm to people with disabilities, and they continue to be treated in a negative and devalued manner (unconsciously and consciously).

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

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