Disability inclusion in the workplace
16 May, 2022

Disability inclusion in the workplace

The importance of inclusion in the workplace is significant for several reasons. It allows for there to be a large range of opinions shared between people from different backgrounds.
As we put efforts into destigmatize disabilities, we are taking a look at inclusion in the workplace and what we can do to help people with disabilities to get hired and how to create workplaces that are more inclusive for all people.
Due to stigma of disability, many employers fail to recognize that people with disabilities also often have talents, perspectives and skills that can benefit a company or organization in unique ways. The result of this stigma is often contemplation around if people with disabilities will be able to complete employment tasks and meet the expectations of the employer. However, people with disabilities still want to be challenged at work and push themselves, like people without.
While employers should provide adequate assistance and resources for a person with a disability to be able to complete the work they are required to, this does not mean they cannot also create a healthy challenge for those employees as they would do with others. However, hiring alone is not enough to be inclusive if the environment created is an unsupportive community where one is set up to not succeed.

The NDIS and supports in employment

The NDIS assists in funding supports for participants who need additional support in pursing their employment goals. However, the main supports for employment are provided by disability employment services (DES).
In 2020, there were some changes to the funding provided for participants that lead to participants being able to use their supports towards a larger scale of employment settings. This also has allowed for providers to be able to claim supports regarding employment in a different way.
Participants have more autonomy to be able to use their plan funding towards finding and maintaining employment. 9D Care support coordinators are familiar with the arrangements and assist participants with obtaining the correct resources to find employment.

What else can we do?

In Australia, there is a disability discrimination act which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of their disability. This act has been active since 1992, but how effective is it in actually de stigmatizing and assisting people with disabilities to find and keep work?
Employers should think about how inclusive their work environment truly is for someone with a disability. From being physically accessible to accommodating neurological disabilities there is a variety of ways employers should make sure they are inclusive.
Once a person is hired, besides making the necessary adjustments to ensure the employee can maintain completing their work with their disability employers should also consider how inclusive the work community is. Ensuring that all employees undergo sensitivity training to defer creating an exclusive environment where someone with a disability feels they do not fit in could be one way to do so. We encourage you all to pay attention to the companies/organizations you are familiar with and notice what they are or are not doing for inclusivity. What additional measures do you think can be taken to increase awareness surrounding disabilities and create more opportunities?

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