Finding a job with a disability
Finding a job with a disability
During the best of days, being unsuccessful while looking for a job is extremely disappointing. But if you are looking for a job and you have a disability, being rejected is frustrating and more often than not, quite discouraging. Here at All Supports, we believe in every person’s value and what you can bring to the workforce. Continue reading to get a better idea of the kinds of jobs we can help you find and the benefits of working, despite your disability.
What is considered a disability in the workplace?
As stated in the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992, a disability is defined as:
– Total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions
– Total or partial loss of a part of the body
– The presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness
– The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body
– A disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction
– A disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment, or that results in disturbed behaviour
It also includes disabilities that currently exist, have previously existed or may exist in the future.
There are kinds of disability that you may have been born with, and others that are a result of accidents or illnesses. Sometimes your disability may affect your mobility or it may hinder your ability to learn things or communicate easily. Some people may even have to deal with more than one disability. In any case, don’t lose hope. There is a job for you out there and it’s going to make all the difference in your life.
How can finding a job be beneficial if you have a disability?
Having any form of disability, whether intellectual or physical, can be daunting and depressing. But having a job to keep you occupied has a number of benefits and can change your life.
Independence: Knowing that you have a job to go to every day, where you have responsibilities and the opportunity for financial independence can help build your independence.
Learning new skills: You may already have a number of skills and abilities, but being employed opens up doors to develop new skills. Many employment opportunities provide constant training and help you progress towards more senior roles.
Confidence boost: As you gain independence and learn new skills, your general attitude towards life will probably improve, thus also improving your self-esteem. By making a difference in the workplace, establishing new social connections and perhaps making new friends, your self-worth will increase and any negative feelings about your capabilities will disappear.
What kind of a job can you get?
Regardless of the type of disability a person may have, a suitable career path is out there. Employers are becoming more aware of creating accessible workplaces for diverse employees and investing in disability programs and resources for their workers. Some working opportunity examples for people with a disability include vehicle and equipment cleaners, credit authorizers, graphic designers, file clerks, operation research analysts, telemarketers, mathematical technicians, telephone operators, credit counselors, compensation and benefits managers, actuaries, environmental economists, biostatisticians, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, industrial truck and tractor operators, order fillers, food preparation workers, couriers and messengers, construction equipment and archivists.
What does research say about working with a disability?
According to the Australian Department of Social Services, Employment for People with Disability, “the Australian Government is committed to ensuring people with disability receive opportunities to reach their potential through participating in the community and the workforce.”
Research by the Australian Government shows that 79% of employers are willing to hire people with a disability, but only 58% of businesses are actually doing so. Most employers are aware of the value people with a disability bring to the workforce, but many of them remain unsure about what is involved at a practical level.
According to former Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, “When considering the things that mattered to them (the employers), 76% said equal work opportunities for people with disability was an issue that was personally important to them,” however, “research tells us these businesses want more help to transition from ‘willing’ to ‘hiring’.
John is someone whose disability hasn’t stopped him from working and being independent. He is an employee at a local public body in Sydney and works as a file clerk.
After discovering his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) five years ago, John decided that having a job was not going to take the back seat. In the course of the application process, John told his prospective employer that he had MS. After the interview and having his qualifications assessed, he was offered the position.
He now describes his colleagues as “really wonderful” and believes in the importance of pursuing a goal. He also thinks that employers in general now better understand the significance of finding a workable solution to ensure more people with disability are given employment opportunities. “I think people are learning to be more open-minded,” he said.
Having a disability should not hinder your access to job opportunities or offers. Today, many companies see the advantages of hiring someone with a disability. Not only does it improve the company’s reputation of having an all-inclusive environment, it also provides a better future for someone who might have thought that was not a possibility.
*Names have been changed for privacy purposes
To learn more about disability employment for school leavers, you can access School Leaver Employment Supports services at All Supports if you are eligible under the NDIS,
https://www.and.org.au/pages/what-is-a disability.html https://formerministers.dss.gov.au/jane-prentice/