Hire A Person With A Disability Today!

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It is a sad truth that many people are born with, or acquire through accident, disabilities. In Australia around 18% of the population, 4 million people, struggle with some form of disability. These individuals are quite diverse, representing all socioeconomic groups and demographics, and requiring various levels of assistance. The government defines disability as “a limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities”.

So, what can people without disabilities do to help those that do? Well, it’s not charity! According to people who have disabilities, the number one answer is “Please give us a job.” These people want to live like everybody else as much as possible and prefer not to be defined by their problems. They have much to offer in terms of skills, and yes, abilities that they can bring to the workplace. If you own a business, large or small, you can become a part of the solution by hiring a person with a disability. Start by contacting disability employment services for employers, they have qualified, positive people just waiting for you to hire them! Consider it a win-win.

If you are open to the idea and intend to make a hire, then the following are some thoughts on how to make it work for you, your current employees, and your new employee who happens to have a disability. First off, a lot of people feel uncomfortable around the disabled as they don’t want to offend them. Here is how they feel about it:

It is all right to acknowledge the disability as it affects what they can, or in some cases can’t do, it’s just a fact of life.

Please don’t stare, they are humans and have feelings just like anyone else and don’t want to feel they are on display.

Focus on them as unique individual person, don’t define them by their disability.

They like to make their own decisions as much as they are able, and if they want help they will ask for it, so you don’t need to offer, unless it was in some kind of an emergency situation.

The Golden Rule is in effect- treat people with disability as you would wish to be treated. They want to be happy, just like you do!

It is OK to be empathetic, but no one wants to be pitied. Respect and decency are all that’s required.

People with a disability just want to be like everyone else as much as possible, check here for some more ideas on how to keep them, and everybody else in your workplace happy!

The next thing to do is prepare your workplace for any special needs your new employee might have such as stairlifts, ramps, special lighting, etc. Check this link for government information on employing persons with disability. We hope this helps you make your workplace more inclusive by giving a person with a disability a chance to work and participate in life!

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