Disability and employment in Australia


It is highly likely that one will come across someone with a disability. According to the ABS one in five Australians (3,958,300 or 20% of the population) have a disability of some sort.  

Of course, it is not hard to imagine, those with disability are likely to encounter discrimination at some point in their life or on a daily basis. Unemployment and underemployment are rife amongst the disabled. ABS reported that those with disability had a much lower labour force participation rate (15%) than people without a disability (81%).

The tragedy is people with disability wanted to work, but lack the opportunity.

Here’s the irony – companies invest a lot of resources on employment branding, trying to make their workplace attractive, while shunning (intentionally on unintentionally) the very  people who can contribute to their workplace’s appeal.  Surely, no country (or for that matter, a company) can just ignore or deny employment to 20% of its population. Not only is it wasteful and unsustainable, it’s not the right thing to do.  

Indeed, there are no quick and easy answers. Understanding the point of view of those with disability is a good start. The report is a must read.

Other resources
* ABS data on disability in Australia
* Working Carers
* People with disability (PWD) – advocacy group
* Rights of person with disability (UN)

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