Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Ben Gauntlett, has launched IncludeAbility.gov.au – a new website designed to promote meaningful employment opportunities for Australians with disabilities.
The site is part of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s wider IncludeAbility initiative, designed to advance the employment of people with disabilities by improving employment pathways, promoting access and inclusion, and transforming the landscape for people with disabilities in the workplace.
“There are 4.4 million people with disabilities and 2.65 million people with caring responsibilities in Australia. Nevertheless, the labor force participation rate of people with disabilities is 30% lower than that of people without disabilities. The difference in participation has not changed in 20 years, ”said Dr. Gauntlett.
“Although many organizations have come a long way when it comes to diversity such as gender, cultural background and sexual orientation, it is important that disability is also an important part of any diversity discussion.”
IncludeAbility.gov.au provides free, hands-on resources for employers, people with disabilities, their families, and formal and informal support networks on:
- find and apply for a job
- Identification of accessible and inclusive employers
- Identification as a person with a disability in the workplace
- Attract and recruit people with disabilities
- Adapting a workplace for a person with a disability
- Hosting accessible and inclusive online meetings and events.
The IncludeAbility Initiative also includes the IncludeAbility Employer Network and the Ambassador Advisory Group. The employer network includes 16 leading Australian employers from both the private and public sectors who are committed to working together to drive change and create employment opportunities:
- The alphabet
- Australia Post
- Australian Public Service Commission
- City of Sydney
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- Kmart Australia
- NSW Public Service Commission
- Rio Tinto
- The University of Queensland
- Woolworths group.
“Some of the most successful companies are those that incorporate diversity into all aspects of their workplace, from hiring to career development. These companies know that people with disabilities are an underrepresented talent pool and a significant source of new growth, ”said Dr. Gauntlett.
“IncludeAbility has created a much needed resource for employers who are not just committed to diversity and inclusion, but want to take really practical steps to promote disability inclusion,” said IncludeAbility Employer Network Member Danielle Kelly, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Herbert Smith called Freehills.
“By providing simple, easy-to-use resources, the IncludeAbility website takes much of the complexity out of this area.”
IncludeAbility’s Ambassador Advisory Group includes people with real disability experience from various employment relationships.
They represent the views and experiences of people with disabilities and ensure that they remain at the heart of all elements of the initiative.
IncludeAbility Ambassador Nathan Basha, Office Assistant at Nova 96, sees IncludeAbility as “an opportunity to unlock the potential of people with disabilities – to change their lives and our economy”.
“Education and employment go hand in hand as a lifelong strategy against poverty, but people with disabilities need something else – an open-minded employer who gives them the opportunity to find a job,” said IncludeAbility Ambassador Simon Darcey, professor at UTS Business School said.
To learn more about IncludeAbility, its employer network, ambassadors, and free resources, visit: IncludeAbility.gov.au.