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Inclusive Disability Employment: Conference Addresses Societal, Economic, Legislative and Digital Barriers - 18 August 2015

Disability Employment Australia, 18 August 2015

The Hon. Kelly Vincent MLC will launch the discussion on improving employment for people with disability at Australia’s Disability Employment Conference, to be held in Sydney on the 19th and 20th August 2015.

She says, “The indications are that people with disability face significant barriers in seeking employment that provides them with a living wage. Some barriers are physical – ramps, adjustable desks, screen readers and accessible toilets – the everyday practical kind of things.  But the bigger issue that can’t be seen is the attitudinal barriers of potential employers and workmates.”

Another key issue is the economic barriers people living with disability face when looking for work. Keynote speaker Stephen Koukoulas, Managing Director of Market Economics, will consider the current and potential future of disability employment through a financial lens. He will discuss current conditions in the labour market more broadly and then focus on policies and strategies that promote social and economic inclusion and are aimed at increasing workforce participation.

Likewise, digital barriers to inclusive employment will also be addressed, with Professor Hugh Bradlow, Chief Scientist at Telstra, looking at how the impact of emerging technologies will impact the workforce of the future. Professor Bradlow states, “The technologies that will be introduced over the next decade will have a profound effect on all aspects of the Australian economy. [We need] an understanding of the next generation of technology change and its impact on employment.”

Delegates at the Conference will also have the opportunity to explore and debate the current and future Disability Employment Services model, and critically examine the recent Disability Employment Framework consultations. CEO of Disability Employment Australia, Rick Kane, says, “2015 is a vitally important year for disability employment. There are now new parameters in which to argue, speculate, contest and ultimately search for the essential elements and design that will improve disability employment assistance for people with disability and employers.”

At the heart of the Conference is the understanding that a major shift in disability employment services is underway, and therefore there is a need to explore and design the future with reference to the best work going on today, while not forgetting what the past has taught us.

The DEA Conference is the only employment conference focused entirely on disability and the open employment market. It will feature over 50 influential and informative speakers, with over 100 organisations represented.

Full details of the program are available at: http://dea.conferenceworks.com.au/program/

Media queries contact Sharlie Wise 0418 285 192, sharlie.wise@disabilityemployment.org.au