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Workplaces still see disability as barrier to employment, advocates say

Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 03:50 PM

Lauren Waldhunter, ABC News, 17 February 2017
Nick Schumi has been employed in youth work and the disability sector, but more recently has spent a year looking for a job.
The 31-year-old Adelaide man has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair for mobility, but said potential workplaces were sometimes unable to cope.
"I just recently had an experience where I went to an interview with an organisation and I actually couldn't get into the building itself to even have my interview," he said.
"I had to ask the staff to assist me in getting my manual wheelchair up some steps.
"They were extremely happy with how I interviewed and saw my skillset but, unfortunately, that organisation was in the process of moving to a wheelchair-accessible facility."
Mr Schumi did not land the job.
"I've had to go back onto the disability support pension [but] I am actually in a position where I look forward to paying taxes."
Advocates said Australians with a disability were frequently locked out of the workforce as employers focused on impairments rather than skills and qualifications.
The latest monthly job statistics, for January, showed a drop in Australia's unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent nationally.
South Australian Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent said the data failed to show the more specific employment picture for minority groups, especially people with disabilities.
"We know that around 50 per cent of people with disabilities are actively in the workforce compared to around 80 per cent of people without, so that gap is really huge," she said.
Read: the full article at ABC News

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  • Meera Miller on Mon, 27 Feb 2017, 11:24 AM:

    An interesting read from first hand experiences. Thank you and lets hope our steps are moving forward on this issue.