“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 seven 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 used to use a walking stick but 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 that level of discrimination where an employer would choose not to employ someone with disability, despite them being qualified for the role, because you can’t take them to the pub, or you can’t walk with them down the street.
“Some workplaces I’ve had to go up stairs and the room might be a bit cramped.
“Employers are better now, they’re more aware. Although for some I think it’s [including people with disability] still an afterthought. They might provide accessibility once they’re pushed.
“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 work-space OK?’ They are more proactive.”
Paul feels that more needs to be done to include people with more complex disabilities in the workplace.
“I feel like my disability is actually nothing, my disability is easy. I feel for people whose disability impacts their ability to communicate – that is where employers need to do more work on including people who for example might not perform well in a job interview 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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