International Discrimination Day
We continue on our employment theme for International Discrimination Day on March 1st as people with a disability in Australia still face so much discrimination in the workplace. More than 45% of employed people with disability have been discriminated against by an employer, and about 42% were discriminated against by a work colleague. (ABS, 2019).
The ability to participate in employment and be financially independent directly impacts a person’s quality of life, but it comes as no surprise that statistically, a person who has experienced discrimination in the workplace is more like to avoid the workplace in the future; it has an ongoing effect.
The onus should fall on the employer to provide reasonable adjustments in the workplace to enable them to work safely and productively, such as providing safe access to the workplace or assistive technology. It is also vital to educate the workforce on topics of discrimination and not allow it to happen in the organisation.
It’s also important to note that perceptions of the employer are a factor. According to the ABS, most employed (88%) and unemployed (82%) working-age people with disability do not require additional support from their employer to work. Similarly, 82% of employed working-age people with disability do not need at least 1 day per week off work because of their condition(s).
Lesa Bradshaw says in her Ted Talk Disability vs the Workplace “The reality of disability includes a huge wide range of impairments which may or may not disable you, depending what context you are operating in.”
A Proactive Approach
The good news is there are Disability Employment Services throughout Australia looking for, or in work. For employers, there are things they can do for you also:
help find the right job and the right employer for you,
tailor the job description to match your abilities,
recommend physical modifications to a workplace if needed,
prepare you and your future employer about what to expect,
advise your new employer about any financial support that may be available for employing people with disability,
provide on or off-site support for you and your employer as required,
support you in the workplace and talk about any issues with your employer should you wish them to do so.
If you're investigating work options, your local Disability Employment Service provider is the perfect starting point.
No Career Barriers
If you have an NDIS plan, one avenue that could help is CRANK: an NDIS provider dedicated to delivering inclusive and interest-focused career programs and employment services. They have the technology and eSport programs to inspire confidence and improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with diverse abilities and backgrounds.
Disability Employment Australia
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