Deafness Forum Australia provided its ideas for the creation of a national Disability Employment Centre of Excellence.
This Centre, to be established by the Australian Government, aims to significantly improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, addressing the persistent employment gap across Australia.
The Importance of Employment.
Employment plays a crucial role in the lives of people with disability. It offers financial independence and boosts mental health, self-confidence, and social inclusion. Despite their eagerness and ability to work, people who are deaf or hard of hearing face higher unemployment rates than people without disability and can experience numerous employment barriers, including attitudinal, environmental, and systemic challenges.
Our Vision for the Disability Employment Centre of Excellence.
The proposed Centre should be a disability-led initiative and operate independently from the Government to maintain impartiality and public trust. We’ve proposed that the Centre’s goals should include:
- Raising awareness of employment inequities.
- Offering practical solutions.
- Providing targeted training and information to various stakeholders.
Our Recommendations for the Centre.
- Translating Research into Practice: Convert academic research into accessible, practical resources for employment service providers, employers, and people with disability.
- Disability Inclusion Training: Develop a nationally recognised disability accreditation program, co-designed with people with disabilities, to train employers and employment service providers.
- Support the development of Disability Action Plans: Promote organisations creating and implementing Disability Action Plans that outline clear, measurable strategies for reducing disability discrimination.
- Encouraging Collaborative Communities: Foster cooperation across different sectors to address disability workforce inclusion as a society-wide issue.
- Employer of Choice Recognition Program: Implement a program acknowledging organisations committed to disability inclusivity aligned with the Disability Discrimination Act.
- Data Collection and Analysis: Gather and publish data to monitor progress and hold employers and service providers accountable.
Establishing a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence represents a critical step towards bridging the employment gap for people with disability in Australia.
By addressing societal misconceptions, providing practical tools and training, and fostering a collaborative environment, this Centre can significantly contribute to the empowerment and inclusion of people with disability in the workforce.
Deafness Forum Australia’s recommendations lay a solid foundation for creating a more equitable and inclusive employment landscape.