Video: Inner West Council charts its disability confidence with JobAccess
Inner West Council is a local government area located in the inner western region of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia. The Council worked with the Australian Government’s JobAccess service and the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC) to improve their disability confidence and provide equitable employment opportunities for Australians with disability.
The NDRC works with larger public and private sector organisations across Australia through free, tailored 12-month partnerships to improve their disability confidence. The NDRC helps identify and remove potential barriers and provides practical, expert advice to implement good practices in attracting, employing, and retaining people with disability.
In this video, Casual Document and Information Officer Jamie De Paulo and Data and Information Coordinator Khush Pai at Inner West Council share their experiences working with JobAccess and its impact.
[A sea of leafy suburbs stretches towards the distant cityscape of the Sydney CBD. The stately red-brick Petersham Town Hall has a clock tower. A burly dark-haired man steers his wheelchair up a long ramp to the town hall's cream portico, then through the front door. He's interviewed in an office. Text: "Jamie De Paulo, Casual Document and Information Officer, Inner West Council."]
Jamie De Paulo: For many people with disabilities, it's difficult to find a suitable disability employment provider. There are many employers who have a lack of understanding how to treat people with disabilities and they don't realise what kind of value someone like myself could bring to an organisation. My name is Jaime, and I'm the casual document information officer at Inner West Council.
[A woman with long dark hair is interviewed near extensive racks of shelves filled with file boxes. Text: "Khush Pai, Data and Information Coordinator, Inner West Council." Holding a file, Khush moves through the shelves. Using a steering wheel, a section of shelves is slid along rails.]
Khush Pai: Inner West Council is a very large organisation. It's an amalgamation of three former councils, namely Leichhardt, Ashfield, and Marrickville. And one of our biggest supporters in this, is the team at JobAccess, who we've been working with since Inner West Council was established. In that time, we've utilised support through JobAccess' NDRC program which has helped us look over our policies recruitment methods and work towards making ourselves more disability inclusive allowing us to see the abilities of people like Jamie.
[Jamie scans yellowing house plans from a building application. The plans appear on his computer screen. He stamps a folder as 'Scanned', with the date underneath.]
Jamie: My role involves scanning documents from three former councils Marrickville, Ashfield, and Leichhardt. I have to then register these documents in councils electronic content management system. Then keep a log of these documents on council's digitisation tracker spreadsheet.
[Jamie and Khush meet in a corridor. She shows him some files. They move up the corridor together.]
Khush: The team at JobAccess has always been very friendly and approachable. They provide a range of support to council from answering a simple question over the phone to conducting walk-throughs and assessments for individualised workplace adjustments. And the benefits of such support can be seen, not only in my team but throughout wider council.
[In an office, Jamie lowers an adjustable desk to the height of his wheelchair. He then feeds a large document into the long scanner on the desk.]
Jamie: I'm usually pretty independent during the workday, and you could say I barely need any adjustments at work. From time to time, I'll need assistance to complete a task or to change my workdays. But Khush is pretty good at allowing me to do that.
[Khush brings more files to Jamie's desk. She sits and they talk.]
Khush: JobAccess has really helped us as an employer and organisation to build our disability confidence. From my perspective, inclusion is about building up morale in a workplace and tapping into the potential of people with disabilities. We're all here to work equally and support each other equally.
Jamie: We all work together and help each other out.
[Khush wheels a trolley along the racks of shelves. Winding a handle, she opens a section of shelves, then takes down a file box.]
Khush: JobAccess has also helped us in getting in touch with other organisations who are disability inclusive to workshop ideas. Inner West Council has now developed an inclusion action plan and we are continuing to do a lot of work in the disability space.
[Jamie, Khush and two men laugh and talk at a meeting. A sign with the Inner West Council logo hangs on a wall behind Khush.]
Jamie: I find my job very rewarding and very satisfying. Means a lot to me to be part of the team and knowing that I belong.
Khush: It's wonderful that the support and guidance from JobAccess has given people with a disability more opportunities and support.
[A hand-drawn house plan on yellowed paper is scanned. Jamie wheels his chair through the wood-panelled rooms of the town hall. He cruises down a footpath, then crosses a tree-lined road near the town hall.]
Jamie: I started as a work experience student at the Marrickville Library back in 2006, and it is a huge sense of satisfaction seeing where I started and where I am now. It's very important to give an individual a sense of purpose and I guess a sense of identity. That's what inclusion can mean to people.
[The sea of leafy suburbs stretches to the distant city skyscrapers.]
Voiceover: JobAccess partners with large employers to build disability confidence. Call 1800 464 800 or visit www.jobaccess.gov.au to find out more.
[On a purple screen, a rectangular logo reads "JobAccess, Driving disability employment." Below, white text reads, "1800 464 800, jobaccess.gov.au #EmployTheirAbility." The Inclusively Made logo appears on a black screen. Below, text reads, "This film was created inclusively with people living with disability."]