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International Day of People with Disability

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Today is the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). The theme for IDPwD in 2014 is Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology. A key aspect of this is the role of technology in creating enabling working environments.

The Equal Opportunity Commission continues to hear about issues that people with disability face when applying for jobs and at work. Disability discrimination is the most common type of discrimination reported to us (37% of complaints in 2013-14) and employment continues to be the most common area where discrimination occurs (58% of complaints in 2013-14). Often issues relate to a reluctance on the part of employers to accommodate a person’s disability. Through the conciliation process, the Commission assists people to come to an agreement to resolve issues.

The Commission also works on initiatives to reduce discrimination. This year, we have been working to improve employment opportunities for people with disability through a joint project with a number of other State Government agencies and external organisations, including Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, Department for State Development, Office for the Public Sector and Personnel Employment (Barkuma).

Aims of the project are to increase the employment of people with an intellectual disability, improve disability awareness training, and implement good practice in the SA Public Sector. The project has also produced a ‘service map’ that will be available on the Equal Opportunity Commission’s website in the coming weeks which will collate resources, information and support available for employers.

On IDPwD, I urge all South Australians to think about what they can do to assist people with disability and their carers to participate not just at work, but also in all areas of life.

Anne Gale
Commissioner for Equal Opportunity