Disability Employment Australia. Represent, Support, Resource

Disability confident workplaces

Increasing your workplace's disability confidence means a supportive, positive and inclusive environment for all.

Your local Disability Employment Service (DES) provider can help you to achieve this goal, as well as help you employ people with disability, and support  employees with disability. Locate your local DES providers.

There a number of ways to build disability confidence. This collation of Australian resources will provide you with information and direction in creating a supportive, positive environment for people with disability and their colleagues in the workplace.

Jump to:

Partnering with a Disability Employment Service
The business case for employing a person with disability
Building disability confidence
Disability accessible recruitment processes
Adaptive technology and workplace adjustment
Work place communication
Occupational Health and Safety
Supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace

Partnering with a Disability Employment Service

  • Disability Employment Services (DES)

Partnering with a DES is an ideal way to diversify your workforce.

In late 2011 Disability Employment Australia partnered with Australia Network on Disability via a DEEWR Innovation Fund to produce a booklet aimed at guiding employers to partner with Disability Employment Services.

Download: the Employers Guide to Partnering with Disability Employment Services booklet

The business case for employing a person with disability

  • Business benefits - JobAccess (Australian Government)

Recruitment in Australia must be responsive to changes in economic conditions and social trends. Businesses can address future employment requirements by expanding their workforce through the employment of people with disability.

Like all employees, people with disability bring a range of skills, abilities and qualifications to the workplace. Many businesses already employ workers with disability because it makes good business sense.

Go to: Business benefits or the JobAccess Employer Toolkit


There are substantial costs to individuals and to society associated with Australia's current poor employment outcomes for people with disability. This report estimates the increase in economic output that could be achieved by increasing employment outcomes for people with disability.

Download: The Economic Benefits of Increasing Employment for People with Disability


  • Employ Outside the Box - The rewards of a diverse workforce - ACCI

Employing outside the box is not about businesses acting as charities or taking over government’s role in supporting our most disadvantaged. Instead it is about businesses meeting their skills and labour needs by engaging people who they may not have previously considered but who are willing and able to do the job.

Download: Employ Outside the Box

Building disability confidence

  • Opportunity  - Australian Network on Disability (AND)

    The Australian Network on Disability has developed a resource to assist you and your organisation to build disability confidence, particularly in relation to employing people with disability and welcoming customers with disability.

Go to: www.disabilityconfidence.org.au
Download: the Opportunity booklet in PDF format.

  • Western Australia Disability Services Commission Toolkit

    A toolkit has been designed by the Disability Services Commission in partnership with the Public Sector Commission for Western Australian businesses. The toolkit provides a how to guide’ for ensuring recruitment, selection and retention practices are inclusive and accessible, and dispels myths and provides answers to frequently asked questions.

    Go to: Western Australian Disability Services Commission website

Disability accessible recruitment processes

  • The Recruitment Process - Job Access (Australian Government)

To help you diversify your workplace, you may need to make changes to your recruitment processes to ensure they are accessible for people with disability.

This can include altering the job description and design, as well as how you advertise and interview for the position.

Go to: Recruitment process

Adaptive technology and workplace adjustment

  • Products and solutions - Job Access (Australian Government)

With the aid of adaptive technology and a range of other workplace equipment and solutions, people with disability are often able to perform a wider range of functions than would otherwise be possible.

Your DES provider will also support the employees they have placed with your organisation by providing appropriate adaptive technology and workplace solutions.

Go to: Products and solutions

  • Meeting job requirements - Job Access (Australian Government)

If a job requirment is, or becomes, a barrier for a person with disability, it can often be overcome by adaptive technology or workplace solutions. Scan this list of job requirements to locate potential solutions to enable people to perform tasks.

Go to: Job requirements

  • Workplace Adjustment Tool - Job Access (Australian Government)

The Job Access' Workplace Adjustment Tool is a useful way to determine which technology or adaptive solution best suits your business needs.

Go to: Workplace Adjustment Tool

  • Step by step guide to accessibility for employers - Job Access (Australian Government)

One in five Australians has a disability, so making premises and services easy to access makes good business sense. This helps staff work in a place free from barriers, while customer’s needs are also met.

Go to: Step by step guide for employers

  • The good, the bad and the ugly: design and construction for access

This is a collection of resources aimed at providing information and guidance to designers, builders, planners, certifiers, building managers and access consultants about access to buildings and services for people with disabilities. 

Go to: resources

  • Workplace accessibility audits

IATA offer audits, training and resources about accessibility for people with disability.

Many Disability Employment Services providers also have staff who are skilled in undertaking accessibility audits - you can locate DEA members in your local area here.

Go to: Institute of Access Training Australia website

Work place communication

  • Work Talk - FaHCSIA

The Australian Government Department of Families, Housing and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs have produced a number of resources to improive work place communication with people with disability.

These include workbooks and factsheets on intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, psychiatric illness, vision and hearing impairment, as well as an implementation guide.

Go to: Work Talk resources

Occupational Health and Safety

  • Are people with disability at risk at work? A review of the evidence - Safe Work Australia

This project found, contrary to the common perception of increased OHS risk for people with disability, that a national study of employers in Australia found that workers with disability have a lower number of OHS incidents compared to an average employee.

In addition, the study also found that workers compensation costs and OHS costs for employees with disability are much lower compared to the average employee.

Go to: Safe Work Australia's OH&S Report

Supporting mental wellbeing in the workplace

  • Mental Health Induction Material - Job Access (Australian Government)

Education about mental health issues can form a valuable part of an induction program.

Find resources to help you provide details about where individuals can access more information about mental health, mental illness, workplace accommodations and support and related issues.

Go to: Mental Health Induction


  • Mindful Employer Program - SANE Australia

Around one in five Australians experience a mental illness every year. This impacts on the individual, as well as families, friends and work colleagues.

Becoming a Mindful Employer can help you create a positive and supportive workplace, and help avoid the costs of not responding appropriately to mental health problems.

Go to: the Mindful Employer site for more information about this program and help foster an inclusive and productive workplace.