“With Life Without Barriers, the difference is that I don’t have to ask. People come up to me and say, ‘Is that door OK? Is that workspace OK?’ They are more proactive.”
Paul has been in the workforce for nearly 40 years, including the last nine years at Life Without Barriers, and has seen the change in inclusion of people with disability over that time.
“I have cerebral palsy that affects my mobility. I use a walking stick and I’ve been in a wheelchair for the past few years.
“It doesn’t affect my ability to do my work – my job involves not just the core accounting skills, but also the ability to communicate ideas and explain financial things to non-financial people.
“All I need is a desk, a computer and accessibility.”
Paul has had a successful career in accounting, including for several high profile organisations including Air New Zealand, Patrick Stevedores and Kellogg’s to name just a few. In that time he’s seen attitudes to disability change.
“In the past, I have experienced some instances of discrimination where an employer would choose not to employ someone with disability, you did not question it; just accepted and moved on.
“At some workplaces, in years gone by, I’ve had to climb upstairs, or otherwise adapt to the environment. There was little pressure or incentive for an employer to change the working conditions to meet the needs of people with disability."
Paul feels that more needs to be done to include people with more complex disabilities in the workplace.
“My disability is quite easy to deal with, it really is only a mobility issue for me. I do feel for people whose disability impacts their ability to communicate – I believe that is where employers could do more work on including people who, for example, might struggle in a job interview because of their disability, but who would do well in the job.”
“It’s about getting past the disabled person’s disability to see what really matters.”
At Life Without Barriers, our doors are always open to people with disability. We are proud to be an accredited Disability Confident Recruiter through the Australian Network on Disability (AND). This means we are unequivocally committed to ensuring our recruitment and selection processes are accessible to people with disability. If you’re interested in joining our team, sign up here to receive our job alerts.
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