Opening doors to more employment
MARK Boerebach knows too well the discrimination faced by people with a disability when trying to get a job.
He has been job hunting since finishing high school almost 30 years ago and is often left with nothing in his bank account after paying his bills.
He has a vision impairment and Asperger’s syndrome, and says he routinely faces discrimination when trying to secure employment.
“If I was able to get paid work I’d be able to provide for myself without having to rely on the government, live with more certainty and start saving for my own place,” he said.
“I would also have more social contact and build more relationships, both personally and professionally.
“There seems to be little understanding within the corporate world about Asperger syn- drome.”
Mr Boerebach’s story isn’t unique and the Australian Network on Disability ( AND) and People with Disability Australia (PWDA) are calling on employers to end this discrimination and give everyone a fair go.
AND helps its members and clients to welcome people with disability as employees, customers and suppliers and chief executive Suzanne Colbert said many Australian employers were already reaping the business benefits of employing people with disability.
“Many of our members, including large employers like Westpac, ANZ, Manpower, Telstra and Woolworths, as well as government departments, are making a proactive effort to recruit more people with disability, and make their systems and processes more accessible” she said.
We encourage employers to make inclusion of people with disability a priority area within their operational strategy,” Ms Colbert said.
PWDA advocacy project manager Samantha French said it was not just people with disability who benefit from employment, businesses that employ people with disability also benefit in many ways.
“Employees with disability have fewer workplace accidents, make fewer Workers’ Compensation claims, take fewer days off and have longer tenure than employees without disability,” she said.
AND’s Suzanne Colbert.