2 December 2022

Claire Robbs, Life Without Barriers' Chief Executive, said we must push the boundaries of what disability employment looks like in our country to drive change.

“The theme of this year’s International Day of People with Disabilities - transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world encourages us all to think outside the box to make our communities, workplaces, businesses and society more inclusive,” Ms Robbs said.

“The barriers people with disability face in accessing fair and equitable employment are ones often based on unconscious bias and misconceptions about people with disability in the workforce, and we need to do things differently and think differently to overcome them.

“We know that employers that hire people with disability report lower absenteeism and higher productivity, so what really needs to change is our attitudes, especially as employers."

Life Without Barriers has launched the organisation’s Access Inclusion and Employment Plan (AIEP), cementing its commitment to improving employment opportunities for people with disability across Australia over the next three years.

The AIEP commits to a goal for 15% of its workforce, at all levels, comfortably identifying as having lived experience of disability within the next three years.

“The rate of unemployment for working-aged people with a disability remains double that of the general population,” Ms Robbs said.

“The barriers faced by people with disability in accessing employment are likely to be pervasive unless Australian employers choose to make an immediate difference in what is a pressing social justice and human rights issue.

“Australian workforces should reflect the composition of the Australian community and that means the inclusion of people with disability.”

In 2021-22, Life Without Barriers supported over 5,200 participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

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