JobAccess, administered by WorkFocus Australia on behalf of the Australian Government, today launched a campaign to lift awareness among Australian businesses of the advantages and financial assistance available to help them employ people with disability and mental health issues.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that some form of disability affects one in five Australians. The participation rate of Australians with disability of working age is only 53 percent, compared with a figure of 81 percent for people with no reported disability. Many of the individuals of working age are unemployed or underemployed due to difficulty obtaining and securing employment.
WorkFocus Australia CEO Rob Gordon said the International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) on December 3 was a time to recognise the dynamic contribution of people with a disability in the workplace – and the growing numbers of Australian businesses that employ people with disability. However, Mr Gordon said that while employers were keen to consider employing people with a disability, many were unaware of the significant financial and practical assistance that is available to help them through the Government’s JobAccess service.
“Most employers understand the benefits of diverse workforce skills and experience. People with disability can add to any company. But there may be costs in adapting the workplace to accommodate them – that’s where JobAccess can help,” Mr Gordon said.
Quentin Kenihan is a young Australian filmmaker who suffers from a rare bone disorder (Osteogenesis imperfecta – brittle bone disease) which means he must use a wheelchair. JobAccess recently assisted Quentin’s employer, the South Australian Film Corporation, with workplace modifications.
Quentin said, “More employers should take up the JobAccess services. What they have done in my
workplace helps me do my job better and more comfortably. They came in and assessed my needs thoroughly. They can really help employers know what’s needed and get a result that helps everyone”.
For more information about JobAccess visit www.jobaccess.gov.au