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.
“Disability Employment, How can we learn from the NDIS”?
Come along and hear Matthew Wright, CEO, Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), address these questions, following on from the AGM of Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE) Inc.
Meeting Room 4.1
Hayden RaySmith room
Ross House, 4th Floor, 247 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
10.00am* for 10.30am start on Thursday October 16th 2014
Matthew was appointed Chief Executive Officer of AFDO in February 2014 and has over 20 years experience in the disability sector. Before joining AFDO Matthew was Chief Executive Officer of Murray Human Services, and held senior positions with Oakleigh Centre, Able Australia and Scope Victoria. Matthew also worked at National Australia Bank developing the NAB's Disability Action Plan.
Matthew has served on various boards in the disability sector including the Disability Discrimination Legal Service and Senswide Services, and is on the Australian Law Reform Commissions Disability Advisory Committee, the State Trustees Ageing, Disability & Mental Health Committee, and the National Disability Workforce Strategy Committee.
Matthew is a fellow of the Williamson Community Leadership Program with Leadership Victoria, and has a severe hearing loss from birth and identifies as part of the Deaf community.
* Light refreshments available on arrival
RSVP Geoff Crawford by Monday October 13th 2014