“I just thought, stuff it, I’m going to just employ people with disabilities top to bottom and show how good they can be within a workplace,” Alcott said. “We’re not doing this for CSR and we’re not doing it to do the right thing. We’re doing it because people with disabilities are bloody good employees.”
Finding a job can be difficult, and if you have a disability it’s even harder because of persistent workplace discrimination. But people with a disability are increasingly taking control of their own lives, building their entrepreneurial skills and establishing their own enterprises.
But looking at the funding more closely, advocacy organisations say it is not “additional” money, but rather is reflective of the natural growth of the scheme.
“It’s well recognised that people with disability face multiple barriers to finding and keeping paid work,” said Romola Hollywood, Director Policy and Advocacy, People with Disability Australia (PWDA). “Without targeted measures, in a tightening labour market, people with disability will continue to be excluded from mainstream employment. This budget has missed a critical opportunity to turn the tables, and that is a shame.”
Jo Viney from Phillip Island is one of 15 Victorian business owners finding her feet in industry in part thanks to a program designed to support entrepreneurs with disabilities. The Good Incubator program, which started in June and concludes later this month, partnered participants with business mentor Tricia Malowney who has helped them as they develop their businesses.
The take home message is that it was always possible, all the time that employers where saying it was not. It is a form of ableism in the sense that it’s concentrating on that proportion of society who fit within a particular norm.”
Disability inclusion in company responses to COVID-19: Results of a survey among National Business and Disability Networks and their members
In May 2020, the ILO Global Business and Disability Network conducted two surveys – one for National Business and Disability Networks (NBDN) and one for those networks’ company members – to identify good practices and gaps in responding to the COVID-19 crisis in a disability-inclusive way. In total, 159 companies from 22 countries (representing four regions) participated in the company survey, and 19 national networks participated in the NBDN survey.
The Morrison Government has partnered with the ABC to showcase the incredible work of up-and-coming content makers with disability and increase employment opportunities. “By supporting these content makers to distribute their work and have their voices heard it will hopefully inspire other artists with disability to follow their dreams and break down barriers to employment.
This pandemic is an opportunity to learn from the disability community. We are experts in resilience
In my state, Victoria, plans to return to the office have been foiled by a second wave of Covid-19. While the circumstances in Melbourne are extremely difficult, I must admit “normal” has not been my bag for a very long time.
Campaigns and awareness days related to the inclusion of people with disability are used by many organisations to inspire understanding and engagement in the workplace. By linking back to your organisation’s wider goals and values, awareness days can help you promote a culture of inclusion and demonstrate your commitment to a workplace that is accessible, safe and supports everyone to reach their full potential.
Jasmine Jarvis, interviews PhD Candidate Jerusha Mather as she discusses her PhD journey in medical & biological sciences, her motor function in adults with cerebral palsy research, why having cerebral palsy made her stronger, and the importance of inclusivity in STEM research.
For many Australians, looking for work involves preparing resumes, cover letters and interview questions, but for people living with a disability you can add discrimination and managing low expectations to that list as well. Research shows many people with disability are choosing self employment, with one group creating tools to make businesses more inclusive.
Learning how to make your workplace more disability friendly — from people who live with a disability
“Many organisations will have a disability action plan and pay lip service to it saying that the support is going to be there, but when you actually try to access it then you are discriminated against or dismissed,” she said.
Lead researcher Professor Simon Darcy said this was because people with disability felt they had no choice but to start their own business in order to work, setting their own flexible hours and working conditions was attractive, and it was an opportunity to give back to their community in some way.
The HSU, along with other NDIS Unions (HSU, the Australian Services Union and the United Workers Union) and the employer peak-body, National Disability Services (NDS), filed the application to vary the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 to insert the allowance.