4.3 million Australians with disability

Summary of topics

  • How common is disability?
  • What is Disability?
  • Introduction to person-first approach and focus on the individual

Please note: This data has now been updated and, as of March 2021, the ABS estimates that 1 in 5 Australians is living with disability.

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My name is James Leonard, and my job title is actually junior developer, as a graduate here at ANZ. Having a job, for me, it gives me a sense of independence, responsibility, which is great, and let me know that I can work alongside my peers and other people in the workplace, so it gives me a great sense of achievement and it really builds up my confidence. The way they're so inclusive of people with a disability, and the way they value everyone's opinions, just makes me want to come here and work. So yeah, outlook's very positive. I'm very happy in my current thing, and so just having a job and knowing that I have achieved something within a team, and that they value me within a team, is just, it's great. It's a great feeling.

Disability is more commonplace than you might think. Whether you're aware of it or not, it's quite likely you know a person with disability, or employ a person with disability in your workplace. My name is Leisa Prowd. I'm an accessibility and inclusion training facilitator and will guide you through the series of videos that make up this employer tool kit. In Australia, one in four people live with some form of disability. Disability is very much an individual experience, and the experience of disability can differ from person to person. Disability can be classified into four broad categories: physical, cognitive, sensory impairment, and mental health. However, when it comes to employment, it's better to focus on an individual's capability, rather than making an assumption based on a specific disability.

Unfortunately, I have, yes. I've had people who've made assumptions on my disability, and I remember going into that interview, and they didn't actually ask me about the role, and what I would need to do in the role. They actually asked me more specifically about my disability and how it affects me in my day to day life, and I found that like them just making assumptions that I can't actually complete the role. So, yeah, I didn't get the job, but I didn't want to be working with them if they were going to be making assumptions like that.

Considering a person with disability could lead you to the best person for the job, and with the right information and support, hiring one of the 4.3 million Australians with disability is easier than you think.

What does disability mean, and how does it impact a person’s ability to work? Everyone’s experience of disability is different, so it’s important to focus on the individual.

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