Australia

Australia

Region: Oceania

Disability Definition

Disability, in relation to a person, means:
(a) total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
(b) total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
(c) the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
(d) the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
(e) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
(f) a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
(g) a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;
and includes a disability that:
(h) presently exists; or
(i) previously existed but no longer exists; or
(j) may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
(k) is imputed to a person.

To avoid doubt, a disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.

Legislation

Employer Legal Requirements

If you are aware of an employee’s disability, legally you must provide what is regarded ‘reasonable adjustment’ to accommodate the needs of your employee.
If an employee discloses a disability, you are required to keep all information about the disability confidential. In order to share information about an employee’s disability with others in your organisation, you must get written consent from the employee.

Disability status information can be collected during the Application stage, after the offer has been made and after employment commences, assuming employee has been given notice of the data collection which is compliant with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and only if completion of the data field is optional.

Privacy Requirements: If an employee discloses a disability, you are required to keep all information about the disability confidential. In order to share information about an employee’s disability with others in your organisation, you must get written consent from the employee. Data should be retained and used in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).” Access a Privacy Guide here: https://www.and.org.au/pages/resources-publi-sharing-and-monitoring-disability-information-967.html

Accessibility Requirements

Access to Premises – Buildings – Standards https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2011C00214

ICT definition exists. Web accessiblity is legally required, with WCAG 2.0 encouraged. Learn more: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/world-wide-web-access-disability-discrimination-act-advisory-notes-ver-41-2014#required

Cultural Norms

Disability discrimination accounts for the highest volume of complaints across the board to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Many people with disabilities describe their lives as a constant struggle—for support, for resources, for basic necessities, for recognition.

People with intellectual disabilities particularly struggle for meaningful engagement with the community.

Insights

Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability. That’s 1 in 5 people.

People aged between 15 and 64 years with disability have both lower participation (53%) and higher unemployment rates (9.4%) than people without disability (83% and 4.9% respectively).

Supplier Diversity

Certification is in place for women-owned business enterprises (WeConnect).

Certification is in place for LGBT-owned enterprises (NGLCC Network: Gay and Lesbian Organization of Business and Enterprise (GLOBE))

Talent Sourcing Resources

Disability Employment Australia Disability Employment Services sits within the federal government’s Department of Social Services. Services are provided nationally through contracted arrangements with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). They are both private and not-for-profit organisations. The providers source talent for employers. https://disabilityemployment.org.au/for-employers/how-members-help/

The Australian Network on Disability (AND) is a national, membership based, for-purpose organisation that supports organisations to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business. AND operates an Internship and Mentorship Programs as employment pipelines. The winter Stepping Into internships program had 91 interns with disability successfully placed with 30 Member organisations. https://www.and.org.au/

Additional Resources

Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) promotes and advances the human rights and freedoms of all people with disability in Australia http://dpoa.org.au/

Inclusion Australia: The voice of Australians with intellectual disability. One major focus is employment. https://www.inclusionaustralia.org.au/

References

Disability Sector Remains Suspicious Over Employment Taskforce https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/11/disability-sector-remains-suspicious-employment-taskforce/

Overview of Austrailia Disability laws https://raisingchildren.net.au/disability/disability-rights-the-law/law/disability-law

Disability Site from Departement of Social Services, provides background on disability in the country https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/supporting-people-with-disability/about-people-with-disability-in-australia

Accessible Communications: Tapping the Potential in Public ICT Procurement Policy (2012 Report) – https://g3ict.org/publication/accessible-communications-tapping-the-potential-in-public-ict-procurement-policy