Hiring Workers with Disabilities – it’s a Good Idea
Employees with Disabilities are:
- More Reliable: on time and less sick days
- Safer: fewer accidents and better OH&S records
- Longer Lasting: stay in a job longer
- Wanted: employers who hire workers with disabilities do so again
- Not Expensive: the cost of hiring workers with disabilities is not as high as some may think
Workplace Modifications and Adaptive Technology
Accessibility: All new buildings must be built to comply with
This means that buildings are designed to allow access for 80% of disabled people in an age range of 18 to 60 years of age.
Workplace Modifications: Making your workplace accessible. If you need to modify your workplace, the following link takes you to many products and suppliers.
Government Assistance for Modifications: The Workplace Modifications Scheme (WMS) reimburses employers for the costs involved in modifying the workplace or purchasing special equipment for new workers with disabilities to qualify for assistance. Companies must employ the person for at least eight hours a week in a job that is expected to last at least three months. A cap of $5 000 normally applies for each new worker, although flexibility exists to increase the amount. He sorts of modifications funded include disability specialist IT software, adapting workplace tools and workstations in the workplace and providing specialist equipment for people with disabilities.
The Disability Discrimination Act (1992) requires employers to make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure that people with a disability have equal opportunity. If a potential employee can safely meet the essential requirements of a job (i.e. achieve the required results irrespective of the means), they must be given the same opportunities as other candidates. The law states that, whenever it is, NECESSARY, POSSIBLE, and, REASONABLE, employers should take into account a person’s disability and make appropriate adjustment to the work environment to accommodate that person. An employer or any other service provider that is aware of an individual’s disability has a legal obligation to provide what is deemed ‘reasonable adjustment’ to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability.
Reasonable adjustments are a form of equal opportunity and may include:
- Job redesign,
- Changing the workplace or work area,
- Purchasing or modifying equipment, or
- Offering flexible working arrangements.