Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE) Inc.
Association No. A005222V ABN 37 573 031 165
Ross House, C/O AFDO 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel – 9662-3324
Fax – 9662-3325
ANNUAL REPORT – June 30th 2014
ADDE was formed by Mr Peter Rickards (President) from the completion of his Leadershipplus project in 2005. From his own personal experience and frustration in trying to find meaningful employment after twenty six years in a major agency in the disability sector, he and a group of passionate individuals decided to do something about it. A public meeting led to the formation of a steering committee and decided the first project was to obtain funding to undertake the “Leading from the Front?” research project. ADDE has since become an incorporated association with DGR status and has carried out a number of significant training sessions and research projects.
ADDE is committed to highlighting the individual and collective experience of people with disabilities around employment.
“If you have a disability in our country you are more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be living in poverty and more likely to be less educated than if you don't have a disability. Too easily we're overlooked and ignored. Too often the story of disability is told through unemployment and poverty. Our system is broken. We aren't doing enough”.
Kurt Fearnley, Australia Day Address 2013
The unemployment statistics continue to deteriorate at a greater rate for people with disabilities than those without. We must ensure the politicians are accountable.
As most of you will be aware Victorians will vote on November 29th 2014. Leading up to this election we MUST highlight the lack of attention and performance of the current Government in the area of disability employment. Part of our strategy to achieve this is to encourage you the individual to tell us your experience with this most important issue. Accordingly, we want to hear from you.
Please contact Martin Stewart, Disability Employment Advocate on 0425 725 171
I spoke at a careers forum this week for university students with disabilities. I shared my story, and some of the wisdom I have gained about employment. In this blog, I will share it with you.
What are the lessons I have learned? Following the Buzzfeed model, here are my Ten Top Tips for getting a job as a person with a disability.
One, it will be harder for you to get a job than your peers without disabilities. That’s the reality, supported by the statistics. So suck it up. And as Sara Henderson famously said – don’t wait to see the light at the end of the tunnel – get down there and turn the bloody thing on yourself. Your opportunities are in your hands. Be proactive, and keep being proactive.
Two, think hard about whether or not you disclose your disability. It’s a bit hard for me not to disclose mine when I walk into a job interview with my guide dog. But some people with hidden disabilities have that option. I learned quickly that when I disclosed my disability during a phone conversation with an employer, that was usually the last interaction I had with them. So I just turned up, and surprised them at the interview.
If you have a mobility disability, and need an accessible venue for the interview, that may be more of a challenge than you are prepared to give an employer. On the other hand, it may put you in a stronger negotiating position.
Your only legal obligation to disclose is if your disability means that you cannot carry out the inherent requirements of the job. Don’t be told otherwise. And don’t accept the employer argument that you somehow misled them by not disclosing. In the same way that no employer can require you to disclose your sexual orientation, no employer can require you to disclose your disability, or punish you for not doing so.
But there may be benefits in disclosing. Some employers are now running programmes to encourage employment of people with disabilities. So disclosing may get you into jobs with those employers. Of course, if employers have a more disability-friendly workplace then you are more likely to disclose (Westpac and Woolworths) And you may feel that if you disclose your disability it may be easier to negotiate those reasonable adjustments you may need.