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 website is part of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s broader IncludeAbility initiative developed to champion employment for people with disability by improving employment pathways, promoting access and inclusion, and changing the landscape for people with disability in the workplace.
“In Australia, there are 4.4 million people with disability, and 2.65 million people with carer responsibilities. Yet the employment participation rate for people with disability is 30% lower than people without disability. The difference in the level of participation has not changed for 20 years,” Dr Gauntlett said.
“While many organisations have come a long way when it comes to focusing on diversity such as gender, cultural background and sexual orientation, it is vital that disability is also a key part of any diversity discussion.”
IncludeAbility.gov.au hosts free, practical resources for employers, people with disability, their families, and formal and informal support networks on:
- finding and applying for a job
- identifying accessible and inclusive employers
- identifying as a person with disability in the workplace
- attracting and recruiting people with disability
- customising a job for a person with 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 private and public sector employers who are committed to working together to champion change and create employment opportunities.
“Some of the most successful organisations are those that build diversity into all aspects of their workplace, from recruitment to career development. These businesses know that people with disability are an under-represented talent pool and a significant source of new growth,” Dr Gauntlett said.
“IncludeAbility has created a much-needed resource for employers who are not only committed to diversity and inclusion, but genuinely want to take practical steps to be disability inclusive,” IncludeAbility Employer Network Member Danielle Kelly, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Herbert Smith Freehills said.
“By providing simple, easy to use resources, the IncludeAbility website strips away much of the complexity in this area.”
IncludeAbility’s Ambassador Advisory Group includes people with lived experience of disability from diverse employment backgrounds.
They represent the views and experiences of people with disability and ensure that these remain central to all elements of the initiative.
IncludeAbility Ambassador, Nathan Basha, an Office Assistant with Nova 96 sees IncludeAbility as “an opportunity to unlock the potential of people with disabilities – transforming their lives and our economy”.
“Education and employment are hand in glove as a lifelong strategy against poverty, but people with disabilities need one more thing – an open-minded employer to give them the opportunity to get a job,” IncludeAbility Ambassador Simon Darcey, Professor at the UTS Business School, said.