International Day of People with Disability 2023: Achieving Sustainable Development Goals by people with disability, for people with disability

Image description: Logo of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD)

Image description: Logo of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD)

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) has been occurring since 1992, when the United Nations General Assembly announced December 3 as the International Day of People with Disability. Each year the United Nations announces a theme for IDPwD. The annual theme provides an overarching focus on how society can strive for inclusivity for people with disability, through the removal of attitudinal, systemic, and environmental barriers.

IDPwD is a reminder that every day is an opportunity to continuously contribute to the building of a truly inclusive community for the 4.4 million Australians living with disability.

IDPwD 2023 theme

The theme for this years IDPwD is ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with and by persons with disabilities.’The theme asks everyone to work together to make the world better and fairer for people with disability.

The SDGs are 17 goals that countries are working to achieve by the year 2030. It is important that people with disability are part of this work and have a big say and influence on the strategies and work to achieve these 17 goals.

Some of the goals include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, climate action, and peace justice and institutions. You can see the full list by clicking on this link.

Disability and employment in Australia: in numbers

Did you know:

  • 4.4 million people with disability live in Australia, that’s one in five of us
  • 1 in 10 people with disability have experienced discrimination
  • Only 53% of people with disability aged 15-64 have a job

JobAccess supports the workplace to be better and fairer for people with disability

JobAccess is a free, one-stop national service that offers expert advice, practical resources and good practice strategies, on matters ranging from workplace adjustments to building employer confidence – with the purpose of driving disability employment.

JobAccess supports sustainable employment for people with disability by reducing inequalities in the workplace.

JobAccess’ services are designed to assist employers and people with disability, with the goal of driving inclusion and accessibility at work. This means increasing the participation rate of in the workplace through decent work, encouraging economic growth via sustainable employment and career progression at work.

Since 2006, JobAccess has supported thousands of employers, people with disability and service providers through a range of services, including:

  1. Advice and support on workplace adjustments and modifications

Not all people with disability require workplace adjustments. However, knowing how to provide adjustments can help employers attract and employ people from a wider talent pool.

JobAccess is the go-to service for support and funding for workplace adjustments. JobAccess expert team of allied health professionals – provide holistic and tailored advice on workplace adjustments to employers and people with disability from the first point of contact.

In addition to providing advice on adjustments, JobAccess work with the National panel of assessors to organise independent workplace assessments at no cost to employers and employees.

Funding through the Employment Assistance Fund (or E-A-F) can cover the costs of making workplace changes, that can include buying equipment, modifications or accessing services for people with disability.

Since 2006, JobAccess has managed over 65,000 applications for workplace modifications and adjustments, and each one has made a difference.

One of the stories is of Clay, a boilermaker by profession, who faced challenges at work due to physical disability. Through workplace adjustments and innovative solutions, JobAccess helped Clay expand his role and address his work challenges.

Another story is of Dr Sharon Zivkovic, who is a scientist, a social entrepreneur, has a PhD and is currently studying for her 7th degree, a Masters in Autism. Diagnosed with autism at the age of 61, she lives with a condition that causes her to experience continuous injuries due to body positioning and movement. JobAccess supported Sharon with workplace adjustments to help her continue work and pursue her passion to change the future for autistic people in the workplace.

  1. Building employer confidence

Large organisations that employ 100 or more people can receive tailored support through JobAccess’ employer engagement service – the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC). The NDRC offers free, 12-month partnerships to build employers' disability confidence by embedding accessible, inclusive, and sustainable policies and practices.

Since 2012, the NDRC has worked with over 400 organisations across Australia’s public and private sectors, to remove systemic, attitudinal, and environmental barriers and increase employer competence.

The City of Adelaide is one of the many organisations who partnered with JobAccess employer engagement team to build their disability confidence and enhance their recruitment process. Through expert advice, they rolled out a number of strategies including reworking the recruitment processes to be more inclusive and accessible, the design and launch of a bespoke leadership toolkit, and more. Read more about the City of Adelaide and JobAccess partnership

Aside from bespoke partnerships with large organisations, the NDRC program also runs a free job vacancy distribution service for businesses – big or small – to promote their vacancies to a national network of Disability Employment Services (DES) providers.

  1. A multitude of free resources for employers

JobAccess hosts a comprehensive Employer Toolkit which covers information about key areas of disability employment and how to support it in the workplace. It features short videos, case studies, downloadable resources and tip sheets that employers can access on-demand. Some of the resources include:

How to get involved in International Day of People with Disability 2023

IDPwD is a good time to make a commitment within your organisation and workplace to break down barriers and promote disability inclusion. There are many ways you can get involved in IDPwD, including organising an event, celebrating achievements at your workplace or taking broader action to be more inclusive, and more.

Remember, you are not alone when it comes to disability employment. JobAccess is here to help!  If you are seeking advice, or looking to support someone with disability at work, get in contact with JobAccess on 1800 464 800 or visit our website:

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