Planning for people with disability
Here are some useful steps that you can take to ensure you are successful in preparing your business to be suitable to employ people with disability:
- Get information: The Commonwealth Government website for employers, JobAccess, is designed to provide information to employers to help prepare for employment of a person with disability. It contains a database of where to get help and how to access support services.
- Contact the experts: There are a range of organisations that can assist you in recruitment of a person with disability. They can provide advice on financial support options, assistance with the facilitation of workplace modifications to accommodate people’s disabilities and ongoing support for the workplace. JobAccess can provide you with a range of contacts located nearest to you.
- Review organisation culture: Consider your current organisational culture (personnel policies and management style). Does your organisation effectively accommodate the employment of people with disability? Do changes need to be made?
- Identify roles/positions suitable for a person with a disability: Review your current employment roles and consider any modifications that may be needed to be made to roles to encourage people with disability to work for your business.
- Consider flexible arrangements: There may be some easy and practical work arrangements that could be offered to make positions attractive to people with disability and cater to individual needs.
- Communicate to staff the value of broadening the business approach to employment: Consider offering awareness training for current employees to help prepare the workplace and provide a culture of acceptance.
- Prepare your staff: Consider any extra training that may be needed for your current employees to help build a culture of acceptance across your organisation. There is often government funding available for employers to help with retraining where necessary.
Recruiting people with disability
Here are some tips to ensure you find the right employee for your workplace:
- Match the needs of your business and the skills and capabilities of each applicant to ensure a good organisational fit. Be clear in your own mind about what the requirements of the job vacancies and what is expected from candidates.
- When advertising positions highlight conditions that may suit people with disability.
- Consider the interview process and that it may take multiple negotiation sessions to agree on core mutual understandings about skills, interests and values.
- Ensure you are prepared for any special requirements that may be needed for the interview process, for instance wheelchair access into office areas or Auslan (Australian sign language for the deaf community) assistance.
- Be flexible and open in considering the abilities of applicants and how they might contribute towards your business.
- When considering employment of a person with disability focus on what the person can do rather than what they can’t do.
- Use a specialist service to assist with recruitment.