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In the highly competitive job market, finding a good position can be difficult. Finding a job when you have a physical disability can be even tougher.

Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott has called for an increase in employment opportunities for people with a disability during the Government’s recent Jobs & Skills Summit.

“Nearly 4.5 million people in this country have some form of physical or non-physical disability, visible or invisible, and only 54% of them are enrolled in the workforce.”

More businesses creating opportunity for diversity

At HELP, we know firsthand that people with disability make the best employees. From increased productivity and boosted morale, to better relationships with customers and higher staff retention, the benefits of hiring people with disability are endless. And fortunately, more and more employers are starting to understand the skills, talent, and dedication that a person with disability can bring to the workplace.

Bridget’s story

In 2021, Brisbane City Council hired Bridget as a Project Support Officer in their Disability Action at Work (DAAW) program.

For many years Bridget had struggled to find a professional role that met her requirements (part-time hours and accessibility for her mobility aide), but Brisbane City Council offered her the perfect opportunity where she could put her skills to work.

Learn more about Bridget’s story.

Help finding a job

If you have a physical disability, HELP can assist you in finding a job, and ensure that employers are aware of your individual requirements.

We also provide support to employers so they can get the tools they need to build an inclusive and accessible work environment for staff of all abilities.

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate you

Once you’ve secured a job, you might worry about how you’re going to navigate your new workplace. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) ensures that people with disability are treated fairly at work. Employers are legally bound to provide reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of people with disability.

What are reasonable adjustments?

Reasonable adjustments are essentially any type of assistance, modification, or adjustment (within reason) to a workplace that is necessary to reduce or eliminate barriers at work.

If your injury, health condition, or disability makes it hard to perform at work, making reasonable adjustments gives you the support you need to do your job.

The type of modification or adjustment you need will depend on the type of disability you have and what support you’re looking for. Reasonable adjustments should be tailored to meet your individual needs and enable you to have equal employment opportunities and work effectively and comfortably.

Some common adjustments in the workplace can include:

  • installing a ramp for easier access to the building
  • widening doorways
  • providing voice-activated software for someone who is vision impaired
  • allowing access to a phone that can be amplified if you are hard of hearing
  • having Auslan interpreters or readers available
  • modifying the height of desks and equipment
  • installing computer screen magnifiers
  • allowing flexible work hours and work from home options.

What do you need to do?

You don’t have to disclose your disability on your resume or cover letter. However, you will need to at some stage – for example, if you are a wheelchair user, you may need to let your potential employer know to make sure there is a lift or an access ramp into the building.

Be specific about what you need. Knowing what technologies and equipment would help you excel at your job can help your new employer prepare your workspace, and ensure you get off to a good start.

If you do require a modified workspace, framing your request in a positive light can help. For example, you could point out that if you can adjust your computer monitor’s height, you’ll be able to manage your computer-based tasks more easily.

Yes, finding a job can be difficult, but with the right support, and an employer who understands your needs, you can land the job of your dreams.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you find a job and start work in an environment where you can shine.

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