“Smart employers recruit and welcome talent with disability” – Department of Social Services, Australian Government 

There are around 4.4 million people in Australia living with disability (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). However, the unemployment rate for people living with disability is almost triple that of able-bodied working age people. 

Hiring individuals with disabilities not only promotes diversity and inclusion within the workplace but can offer an abundance of benefits for organisations looking to overcome recruitment challenges. Candidates with disability are often highly skilled, more engaged, motivated to work and make a positive contribution. 

A global study by Accenture, for example, found that businesses led by executives who champion disability inclusion grew sales 2.9x faster and profits 4.9x faster than competitors. 

By embracing a disability-inclusive workforce, businesses can tap into this often-unexplored pool of talented individuals who possess unique perspectives and resilience, gained through their life experience.  

Here we share 4 more key benefits of hiring a person with disability and the steps you can take to create a more inclusive work environment that welcomes employees with disability: 

1. Increased diversity:  

Employing individuals with physical disability brings a wider range of perspectives and experiences to the table, promoting innovative thinking and creative problem-solving. By considering diverse abilities, organisations are better equipped to cater to a diverse customer base, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

2. Widening the talent pool:  

By accommodating individuals with physical disability who are often incorrectly overlooked as ‘unemployable’, companies can attract highly skilled workers. Organisations that prioritise inclusion gain a competitive advantage by harnessing the skills and expertise of a wider range of individuals. 

3. Improved workplace morale and engagement:  

Creating an environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion fosters a sense of belonging among all employees, boosting morale and overall productivity. When employees witness their company’s commitment to diversity, they will feel valued, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best efforts. This leads to higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and lower turnover rates.

4. Enhanced public image: 

Demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity leaves a positive impression on customers, clients, and the community at large. Companies that embrace diversity enjoy increased brand loyalty, consumer trust, and a positive reputation. 

So, what are the next steps? 

Despite a growing desire to foster more inclusive workplaces amongst employers, there is still a lack of confidence, as well as financial barriers, that can prevent this becoming a reality. 

To help employers take the first step along their disability inclusion journey, the Australian Government Job Access Service offers funding through the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) to cover the costs of making workplace modifications, including buying equipment or accessing services for people with disability.  

The EAF can also cover more than just physical changes to the workplace, such as advanced communications technology, Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreting, disability awareness training for staff, and specialist support for people with mental health conditions or learning disorders.  

If you are not sure where to start, EmployAbility works with likeminded businesses to help develop and achieve their disability inclusion goals and supports employers in creating inclusive strategies that shifts focus to developing a more diverse workforce regardless of physical ability. 

Through tailored staff and organisational training, mentoring and ongoing specialist disability recruitment support, we can connect job-ready candidates living with physical disability with employer partners to unlock their true potential and ensure organisations can harness a truly diverse skill set. 

Did you know about our partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts? Learn more about the steps they’ve taken to become disability-inclusive here.

If you’re also committed to disability inclusion, get in touch via the form and a member of our team will be in touch with further information.