Employers and people with disability take part in AccessAbility Day
More than 190 businesses and organisations, many offering more than one placement, and over 360 people with disability are participating in the AccessAbility Day initiative, which is running in selected metro and regional locations across Australia during the week of 4 – 8 December.
The Hon Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, said that the new Australian Government initiative – AccessAbility Day – brings together employers and people with disability for a day.
“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,” Mrs Prentice said.
This year AccessAbility Day is being trialled in several locations across Australia, including Gosford (NSW); Bunbury (WA); Hobart (TAS); Maryborough (QLD); Bundaberg (QLD); Toowoomba (QLD); Logan (QLD) and Elizabeth (SA).
“There are 4.3 million Australians living with a disability. However, the employment rate of people with disability is one of the lowest rates among the OECD countries,” Mrs Prentice said.
“Often the skills and talents of people with disability are overlooked due to unconscious biases and misconceptions or simply lack of understanding of disability.
“Recent research from the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Network on Disability shows businesses that employ people with disability consistently report competitive advantage, improved productivity and a better workplace culture. It is time to make a difference that benefits everyone.”
Jay Larkins, Head Coach of the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program, said that all employers have a responsibility to provide people of any ability with access to employment opportunities.
“If given the right work environment, any person of any ability can achieve great things, and can be an asset to the workplace,” Mr Larkins said.
The initiative coincides with the 25th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability, a day to help break down barriers for Australians living with a disability and help increase awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability in the workforce.
To find out more about the AccessAbility Day initiative, visit the JobAccess website at www.jobaccess.gov.au/accessabilityday or call 1800 464 800. If you use a TTY phone, call 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 464 800.