In Australia, one in every six people has a disability. While society has come a long way towards becoming more inclusive, it can still be difficult for people with disabilities to find work.
Finding jobs for people with disability is determined by several factors.
Making sure you have conducted your research, have the necessary skills, and have the right people on your side are all critical components of finding the right job.
Recognize your abilities
Several barriers to employment for people with disabilities have been identified by the Australian Human Rights Commission, including:
- Access to flexible work arrangements has proven difficult
- Health concerns
- Difficulty in negotiating reasonable workplace adjustments/accommodations
- Lack of accessible transportation, technology in the workplace, and workplace design
These obstacles may make it more difficult to find jobs for people with disability where you lack firsthand experience or transferrable skills.
It is important to have a crystal clear idea of the job role. Knowing how your experience and skills match the role’s expectations is crucial.
Be aware of the resources that are available to you
The Australian Government offers a variety of disability support to businesses that employ people with disabilities and individuals. These will vary depending on your disability and where you are in your career.
These supports are tailored to your specific situation, whether it is additional training to prepare you for the job, liaising with a place of work for adjustments, or obtaining equipment to assist you with your job.
Working with people with disabilities is no more unique than working with anyone else. A physical or mental disability means that you must pay more attention to the plight of others than you would in other circumstances. Here are four helpful hints for maintaining healthy working relationships.
- Be Reflective
Demonstrate to individuals with disabilities that they have worth in the world. For instance, allow people with communication disorders to finish their sentences independently. Don’t speak for them or interrupt them. Pose questions that will enable brief responses or a nod of the head. The other person can always provide a longer answer.
The constant reinforcement of “you can’t do this” is taxing on those with disabilities. It eventually significantly impacts their self-esteem, consciousness, and confidence. To empower coming generations, we must help the disabled community feel like they are part of a larger community rather than isolated advocates who are separate from the larger population.
- Never Make Assumptions
Many disabilities are invisible. Autism, epilepsy, deafness, and mental illness suffer in silence because it is difficult for ordinary people to “see” their ailment. The language used in such cases also plays a crucial role. For instance, Instead of calling someone an epileptic, say “person with epilepsy” or “John, who has epilepsy…”
Never presume you know what someone is going through; instead, respectfully enquire about their well-being. People with invisible disabilities frequently must validate their impediments while attempting to avoid discrimination. When communicating with a blind worker, remember that his visual impairment does not impair his ability to think or hear. Speak in a normal tone of voice. Consider the following suggestions as well.
- To initiate a conversation, lightly touch the person on the arm or address him by name.
- Ask the person if he wants you to show him around the room and point out any potential hazards.
- Instead of using vague language like “over there,” use descriptive words like “in front of you at eleven o’clock.” Remember that a blind person cannot understand hand or facial gestures.
- Education about disability behavior is essential
It makes a huge difference to educate on the struggles of working with someone who has a disability. A wealth of information is available online about specific disabilities and how you can help someone improve their quality of life. Investigate national or local organizations that promote specific health issues. It may be difficult to discuss, but any problem can be addressed if the dialogue is authentic and respectful.
- Understand Disability Etiquette
Learning specific norms and cultural nuances is critical to treat people with disabilities with dignity. There will be instances when a disabled person is not in the best of moods or becomes triggered due to their medical condition. In this situation, it is best to remain calm and remember the first tip: be reflective. Exude the demeanor that will result in the most powerful work environment.
For instance, speak calmly, slowly, and clearly to someone with a hearing impairment or difficulty understanding. To facilitate communication, stand in front of the person and use gestures.
Expect people with disabilities who participate in work-based learning experiences to succeed. Maintain high expectations. Help them succeed by being upbeat and proactive.