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International Day of People with Disability 2 Dec 2022

It is estimated that over 400,000 Western Australians live with a disability – that’s one person in five. This Saturday is the International Day of People with Disability. Its aim is to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. Here in WA the McGowan Government have helped to fund 100 events and activities across WA to celebrate the day. Find an event in your area here.

Disability Confidence Forum - Next Steps

On October 11, 2022, the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council hosted a Disability Confidence Forum. Over 50 people attended to hear personal stories from people with a disability and passionate advocates who want to make a difference. The aim of the forum was to increase people’s knowledge and dispel a few misconceptions - and to improve people’s confidence when talking about employing people with a disability.

In July, Kay attended a Disability Employment Summit hosted by Disability Assembly WA. At the summit, Kay heard that:

  • Just 53.4% of people with disability are in the labour force, compared with 84.1% of those without disability - this gap of over 30% has remained largely unchanged since 2003.

  • The unemployment rate for people with a disability is over double that of people without disability.

  • More than 113,000 people with disability in WA are currently unemployed and looking for work.

Kay had a couple of lightbulb moments – one was that she had some misconceptions and unconscious bias and wasn’t aware of the types of disability that people have and how they can contribute to the workforce.

And it made her think whether that was reflective of our industries.

So, the idea of a forum was born. It seemed obvious that for people with a disability to get the opportunity to work, we needed more employers who were confident to employ them, and the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council has a network of employers!!

Disability Assembly WA has recently released the report from its employment summit. They’ve also developed ‘messages’ for key groups, including employers and industry groups. We think you’ll find them very interesting. Here is the report and separate messages.

The Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council will be providing some additional information and forums in 2023 for employers who are wanting to be even more ‘Disability Confident’. Please watch this space.

In the interim, here’s a very helpful link for employers “Job Access Employer Toolkit" - your one stop shop for all matters relating to disability employment”. Through short video lessons and downloadable resources, you'll be empowered to hire people with disability and understand the necessary steps you need to take.



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