About Reinforce

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What is Reinforce

Reinforce is a self-advocacy organization for people with an intellectual disability. Reinforce is here to assist, support and encourage independence for people with an intellectual disability. Reinforce promotes the rights of people with an intellectual disability to be upheld in the same way as everyone else in the community.

Reinforce provides training, resources, lobbies government, holds forums, and promotes socialising and networking. Reinforce is run almost entirely be volunteers.


Reinforce was started in 1981 and is the longest running self advocacy group in Victoria. Over the years Reinforce has been involved in many campaigns and activities which promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability. In 1982 Reinforce members were activists in the Drummond St squat. This involved lobbying for the refurbishment of a house to be used for accommodation.

We have been in the forefront of the movement to close institutions. We were a founding member of People First Australia. Members of Reinforce have been keynote speakers at many conferences, addressed schools, colleges and universities as well as being members on State Government advisory bodies.

The History Project have developed a book Reinforce Self Advocacy Speaking Up over the Years Reinforce-final-23-10-13-JF

Reinforce Today

Reinforces current activities include advocacy, education, training and lobbying for the rights of people with an intellectual disability in all areas of their lives.

We currently offer self advocacy training for the many people who have not heard of or had the chance to be involved in self advocacy. We also advise government, present at conferences and do public speaking. We produce resources including videos, books and training kits. We welcome people to drop in to Reinforce and borrow our resources, talk to us or join our organization.

Reinforce acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

We celebrate Janice and her award 

Lesley Hall Lifetime Achievement award to Janice Slattery, who has been a tireless and committed advocate for and with people with an intellectual disability for over 30 years. She has made an outstanding commitment to the disability rights movement over decades that has resulted in substantial change for people with disability. Janice has inspired younger leaders, in particular many women with an intellectual disability in her work in women’s health, sexuality and violence and abuse prevention, showing them how it is done.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award has been named after Lesley Hall, a pioneer and powerhouse of the disability rights movement. Lesley was a feminist and disability activist, who worked to advance the rights of women and girls with disability.

We are very proud to congratulate Janice Slattery member of Reinforce receive a National Disability Award  Leslie Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Congratulations to Jane Rosengrave for winning the Inspire Award for best Achievement in Disability Advocacy 2017.

Funds in Court: Inspire Awards

Congratulations Jane Rosengrave on winning the Inspire Award for Best Achievement in Disability Advocacy. Jane was nominated by the Office of the Public Advocate. Funds in Court’s Inspire Awards recognise people 18 years and older, living in Victoria, who identify with a disability and are well respected in their field of work/interest and community. Nominees are acknowledged not only for their professional contribution to their work but for their enduring leadership qualities, role modelling, mentoring and/or volunteering.

The peer-based awards provide an important opportunity to raise awareness about disability issues and, ultimately, support the development of an inclusive Australian society.

Congratulations to Jane – long time Committee member of Reinforce. Jane Rosengrave recipient of the Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Award at the Australian Human Rights Awards for 2016

jane-awardAll at Reinforce are extremely proud of Jane and her achievements.

The Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Award – Individual is awarded to a person with a track record in promoting and advancing human rights in the Australian community on a not-for-profit basis. Jane is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with an intellectual disability. She is a passionate advocate for people with disability. Jane grew up in institutions and has experienced segregation as well as sexual and other violence, including domestic violence. She contributes to several organisations and shares her personal experiences publicly to raise awareness of the abuse and discrimination facing people with disability.

The link to the Human Rights Award page is https://hrawards.humanrights.gov.au/winners

To see Jane receive the award look at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwJ5CIk94LY&feature=youtu.be&t=7402