Hearing 9 “Pathways and Barriers to Open Employment for People with Disability” took place from Monday, 7th December 2020 to Friday, 11th December 2020 in Brisbane. he hearing was not open to the public due to the pandemic, but was available for streaming on the DRC website.
Hearing 9 sought to explore the barrier to employment experienced by people with disability. These barriers were identified as being attitudinal, physical/environmental, organisational and structural in scope. The extent to which these systemic barriers contribute to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability was also a point of investigation.
Hearing 9 also focused on how employers can embed principles of inclusivity and accessibility into workplace culture, as well as how they can promote employment opportunities and allow for adjustments in the processes of people with disability finding, maintaining, and returning to employment.
Takeaway findings include:
- The complexity of balancing need for reasonable adjustment and recognising the extent to which people with disability face barriers in the workplace, and the principle of treating everyone “the same” and affording equal opportunity.
- Stronger regulation and support for employers to shift attitudes around people with disability in the workplace were highlighted as necessary.
- That low employment of people with disability must be understood alongside other structural issues faced such as accessing support services, housing, public transport, etc. The intersections of these issues are key.