What we do

 

Pioneering projects

We’re constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We work closely with businesses and government on projects that shape the future of access and inclusion in Australia.

Active projects

Career Pathways Pilot 

The Career Pathways Pilot aims to support employers to build their capacity to develop the leadership potential of employees with disability.

Four Business Council of Australia (BCA) members are participating in the pilot: Coles Group, Compass Group Australia, Kmart & Target Australia,  and Woolworths Group. Australian Disability Network will co-design project activity with the employers and their employees with disability to remove unintended career development barriers preventing the progression of employees with disability into leadership positions. A key goal is to have viable systems and processes in place to ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities for job fulfilment and career progression as people without disability.

The pilot has been designed with sustainability in mind to ensure the outcomes are leveraged long term and impact occurs nationally.

This initiative is funded by the Australian Government, Department of Social Services.

Learn more about the Career Pathways Pilot

Communication Access and Inclusion Project

The Communication Access and Inclusion Project is kindly funded by the Bowness Family Foundation to support the increase of awareness and recognition of people with communication difficulties in Australia. Australian Disability Network are reviewing our key products and services to ensure communication access needs are considered. Additionally, the funding will support the research we undertake to include people with communication difficulties as research participants.

Disability Observership Pilot

The Disability Observership Pilot will create a disability talent pipeline into The Observership Program and create a passionate and motivated community of future leaders. This pilot is identifying and removing any unintended barriers that exist for people with disability while building the capability of not-for-profit boards to induct an Observer with disability.

Disability Leadership Program

The Disability Leadership Program is a strategic partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) to increase the representation of people with disability on Australian Boards. Over two years, the program will offer 200 scholarships to people with disability.

This project has been funded by the Department of Social Services as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Information Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Program.

Employing 100

Employing 100 aims to successfully place 100 job seekers with disability into roles in the Health Care and Social Assistance, and Food and Accommodation industries. Australian Disability Network (AND) have developed an Employer Enablement Framework (a model to support employers to recruit people with disability) to achieve this based on more than a decade’s research. This project has been funded by an ILC Grant from the Department of Social Services, on behalf of the Australian Government.

Directing Change Scholarship 

The Directing Change Scholarship provides 15 full-fee scholarships to people with disability to participate in either the Company Directors Course or the Foundations of Directorship course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Successful scholars will also have access to a mentor, one year membership to the AICD and workshops to support career and leadership development.

Accessible Procurement Taskforce

With the Accessible Procurement Taskforce we’re trialling a tool with members to assess the extent to which their procurement practices include accessibility. This is revealing opportunities for change in procurement practices that we’re passing on to our other members.

Completed projects

Connect50 

Connect50 was an internship project in which businesses across regional Victoria offered paid internships to talented university and TAFE students with disability. The Victorian Government provided the funding and chose us to deliver the project as part of its economic participation plan for people with disability.

Victorian Employer Enablement Project

Our Victorian Employer Enablement Project (VEEP) helped employers gain the benefits of a diverse workforce that includes people with disability. The Victorian Government funded the project, which ran until December 2018.

High Growth Jobs, Talented Candidates

High Growth Jobs, Talented Candidates (HGJTC) was an innovative project we delivered in partnership with Social Ventures Australia. It was pioneered and funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

 

Policy & reform submissions

We believe that government policy for employing people with disability should consider two key principles:

  • disability shouldn’t mean poverty – most people with disability can work if they have the right support, and even those with significant disability can do their roles successfully for many years
  • leave no-one behind – it’s possible to create high-quality, inclusive employment and sustainable jobs by providing support services for jobseekers and employers.

 

How we support policy-making

We regularly submit papers to influence and shape government policy. To create these papers we consult with our member organisations, our Board of Directors and expert advisers.

We bring to policy-making the voice of employers who use the talents of people with disability. We strongly support evidence-based policy, based on:

  • what has and hasn’t worked over the past 30 years, in Australia and internationally
  • the lived experience of people with disability and the research that captures this.

 

Submissions and reports

We regularly submit papers to influence and shape government policy. To create these papers we consult with our member organisations, our Board of Directors and expert advisers.

We bring to policy-making the voice of employers who use the talents of people with disability. We strongly support evidence-based policy, based on:

 

Royal Commission

The board, leadership and team of Australian Disability Network condemn violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. We believe that people with disability are valuable social and economic contributors with skills and capabilities who are entitled to share in the economic, social, cultural and political wealth of Australia and must be treated with dignity and respect. We believe that less violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability will occur when more and more organisations become accessible to and inclusive of people with disability and there is fair representation and participation of people with disability across all aspects of business and our communities. We applaud the many organisations that are taking positive steps towards being disability confident so they can welcome people with disability as skilled and talented employees and valued customers.

We agree with the feedback from people with disability that many mainstream organisations have more to do to ensure that their employees with disability are better enabled and are not discriminated against, bullied or harassed at work. More needs to be done to facilitate professional development opportunities and encourage initial employment and then career progression of the many talented and committed people with disability. Many organisations need to do more to facilitate fair and equitable inclusion of people with disability as customers and service users.

The Australian Disability Network is committed to assisting large organisations from the private, public and third sectors to build the capabilities they need to be accessible and inclusive to people with disability and working with those organisations to help them improve.

We deeply regret the violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability that has occurred and continues to occur. We encourage organisations from the private, public and third sectors to develop the behaviours, attitudes, systems and knowledge to become inclusive and accessible so that everyday we’re working towards a fairer, more inclusive and economically prosperous Australia.

Further Information:
For further information on the Royal Comission, please go to the Department of Social Services website.