On International Day of People with Disability we discuss this year’s theme, “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world”, and look at ways you and your organisation can participate in this important day.
According to the United Nations (UN), more than one billion people, or 15 per cent of the global population, live with some form of disability. Alarmingly, 80 per cent live in developing countries. In Australia, about 4.4 million, or one in six people have disability. Not all disability is the same, and some disabilities are invisible. By joining the conversation and listening to the stories and lived experiences of people with disability, we can challenge our own perceptions about disability and help make positive changes in the community.
International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), which has been observed since 1992, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
The UN has set three themes for dialogue on the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities:
- Innovation for disability inclusive development in employment (Sustainable Development Goal 8): this dialogue will discuss the linkages between employment, knowledge and skills required to access employment in an innovative, rapidly changing technological landscape, and how assistive technologies can increase accessibility to employment and be adopted in the workplace.
- Innovation for disability inclusive development in reducing inequality (Sustainable Development Goal 10): this dialogue will discuss innovations, practical tools and good practices to reduce inequalities in both public and private sectors, which are disability inclusive and interested in promoting diversity in the workplace.
- Innovation for disability inclusive development: sport as an exemplar case: a sector where all of these aspects coalesce; sport as a good practice example and a site of innovation, employment and equity.
The Australian Network on Disability states this year’s theme “is about embracing how we as a collective can welcome change and accessibility in our everyday practices to create a world that is limitless for people with disability.”
Getting to Work
Find out about Getting to work, the Victorian public sector’s disability employment plan.
The aim of the Getting to work: Victorian public sector disability employment action plan 2018-2025 is to “increase the overall engagement, representation and meaningful employment of people with disability across every level of the Victorian public sector.”
To achieve the Getting to Work targets, there are 21 actions over 3 focus areas:
Focus area 1: Build awareness through access of information
Focus area 2: Attract and recruit people with disability
Focus area 3: Support employees with disability.
Overall, the plan acknowledges that every workplace is unique and that a range of approaches will be required to raise awareness and drive change.
How to participate in IDPwD 2022
The Australian Network on Disability believes direct input from employees with disability is vital in any organisation that wishes to truly practice disability inclusion. Storytelling, for example, is a powerful tool of connection. Employees with disability may feel comfortable to share their experiences and stories. Consider sharing the stories of employees with disability, as no two experiences are the same.
IDPwD is also the perfect time to:
- hold or attend an event on, or around, 3 December to celebrate
- join or start a conversation in your community to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability
- read, watch and listen to the stories and experiences of people with disability to challenge your attitudes and assumptions
- take action in your workplace to remove barriers and improve accessibility for people with disability
- help spread the word and share your messages of support for #IDPwD online
- work on a Disability Action Plan
- co-design a new program with employees with disability
- launch an organisation-wide policy, plan or initiative that places disability inclusion on the agenda.
“We know that familiarity and education can be the biggest opportunity to removing unintentional barriers,” the Australian Network on Disability states. “IDPwD can be a great opportunity to organise training – whether internal or external – where employees can learn about disability, and the benefits of disability inclusion in the workplace.”
CourtHeath recommends listening to Australian of the year and disability advocate, Dylan Alcott’s podcast, ListenABLE, to connect and listen to stories from people living with disability.
The NDIS also have a collection of stories you can engage with to learn about those living with disability.
You can also engage with the 2022 IDPwD Ambassadors
- About IDPwD
- IDPwD Ambassadors 2022
- Australia’s Disability Strategy Hub
- Getting to work (pdf)
- Getting to work: Victorian public sector disability employment action plan 2018-2025
- International Day of People with Disability
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A participant in the UN Global Compact, CourtHeath seeks to raise awareness about the sustainable development goals and the principles of the Global Compact with business and government organisations in Victoria. The elimination of all forms of discrimination in respect to employment and occupation is Principle 6 of the Global Compact. The Global Compact repudiates labour discrimination internationally.
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