Media Release by The Hon Jane Prentice MP

Explore new possibilities in the workplace on AccessAbility Day

Registrations are now open for AccessAbility Day, a new Australian Government initiative to bring employers and people with disability together for a day.

Research suggests that one of the biggest impediments to people with disability getting employment is that many employers have little or no experience of having a person with disability in their workplace.

An important aspect of AccessAbility Day is that it is a way to get first-hand, personal experience, without further obligation. In this way, it is hoped that more people will be prepared to give it a go.

The aim is that everyone will come away knowing more: for the person with disability, more about a particular type of work or workplace; and for the employer a bit more about what a person with disability can contribute.

“Even though more than four million Australians are living with a disability, they are greatly underrepresented in the workforce. The unemployment rate for people with disability is double the rate for Australians without disability. We must do better,” the Hon Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services said.

“Work is important to us for many reasons. It not only provides security and independence, but also expands our social networks, gives us a sense of responsibility and self-worth and enables us to more fully contribute to society.

“Recent research from the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Network on Disability shows businesses employing people with disability consistently report competitive advantage, improved productivity and a better workplace culture”, Mrs Prentice said.

In this first year, AccessAbility Day is being piloted in several locations across Australia, including Gosford (NSW); Bunbury (WA); Hobart (TAS); Maryborough (QLD); Bundaberg (QLD); Toowoomba (QLD); Logan (QLD) and Elizabeth (SA).

“I encourage local businesses and jobseekers with disability in the trial locations to participate in AccessAbility Day and see the potential it can bring,” Mrs Prentice said.

Samantha Jenkinson, Executive Director of People with Disabilities (WA), said that people with disability have many talents and strengths to suit different workplaces, which can be of great benefit to businesses.

“People with disability, such as myself, experience the world from a different perspective. They can see problems or issues from a different angle and find solutions that others wouldn’t think of. In a workplace this is a really valuable quality,” Mrs Jenkinson said.

Employers and people with disability can participate in AccessAbility Day on any day from the 4th to the 8th of December 2017 in the week immediately following the International Day of People with Disability, on 3 December.

People with disability must be registered as looking for work with a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider and complete the online registration form to be eligible to participate in AccessAbility Day. A DES provider can also help participating employers plan, organise and facilitate AccessAbility Day placements.

To register your interest or find out more about the AccessAbility Day initiative, visit the JobAccess website at, call 1800 464 800 or contact your local DES provider. If you use a TTY phone, call 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 464 800.