This toolkit is intended to enable individual businesses in the sector to develop Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plans (previously known as Disability Action Plans).
Over four million people in Australia, or one in five people, have some form of disability, including 2.1 million Australians of working age (15 – 64 years). Of those 2.1 million, just over one million are currently employed and another 114,900 are looking for work. This translates to an unemployment rate among people with disabilities of around 9.5% – almost twice the national average rate of unemployment in the general community.
To inform our understanding of the current attitudes, understanding and practices in relation to the employment of people with disabilities across the CME sector in Australia, Per Capita undertook an online survey of BCCM members. The survey was open for six weeks and we received more than 100 considered responses, providing us with a ‘sector snapshot’ of disability inclusion in CMEs across Australia. The sector snapshot contained a lot of positive results.
Following the completion of the survey and analysis of its findings, we conducted two workshops to further explore the understanding and awareness of disability inclusion in the CME sector, and to develop an approach to increasing the inclusion of people with disabilities as employees. The workshops involved leaders from the CME sector nationally, including CEOs, heads of HR and other managers with responsibility for recruitment, personnel and organisational culture.
Although this toolkit is about helping employers hire and support employees with disabilities (rather than ensuring accessibility for customers) the steps involved in creating your Action Plan will be broadly similar to those used for a standard Disability Action Plan as suggested in the DDA, and outlined in the AHRC’s Guide for Business.
Setting a vision, encouraging applications from people with disabilities, and implementing procedures to increase the number of people with disabilities recruited to new roles.
Creating an inclusive culture, providing an appropriate and safe physical environment, providing appropriate technical support, ensuring adequate management and Human Resources support, and providing flexible work conditions.
Once you have completed the steps set out in this toolkit, you should have a working draft of your company’s Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plan. The next step to share the draft Action Plan with management and HR to ensure that the measures included are able to be implemented, and to refine any goals and measurement systems.