Language is a powerful tool for building inclusion and exclusion at work. It can be used to create a sense of being valued, respected and one of the team or of being under-valued, disrespected, and an ‘outsider’. DCA addresses this in its WordsAtWork initiative.
Accessibility & Accessibility Action Plans
Accessibility Action Plans (sometimes known as Disability Action Plans) are an outward sign of an organisation’s intention to eliminate discrimination and outlines its plan for how this will be tackled.
It details how an organisation is making its workplace, products and services accessible to people with disability, and informs the public how it is approaching diversity and inclusion. It is a formal document with particular requirements that is usually lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) encourages organisations to develop action plans to eliminate discriminatory practices.
Reasonable accommodations allow workers and their employers to take advantage of their full professional potential and thereby contribute to business success. Although normally associated with temporary or permanent disability, chronic illnesses or age-related impairments. the need for reasonable adjustments or accommodation may also arise from family responsibilities for children, parents or other dependents and religious requirements.
The purpose of a reasonable accommodation at work is not to unduly burden an employer, nor is it to grant one employee an unfair benefit or advantage over another. Reasonable accommodation in the workplace means providing one or more modifications or adjustments that are appropriate and necessary to accommodate a worker or job candidate’s individual characteristics or differences so that he or she may enjoy the same rights as others. Often, a reasonable accommodation may be made at little or no cost to an employer and results in concrete benefits to both the employer and the worker.
In an era when so much activity is undertaken on-line, digital accessibility, particularly in relation to the internet and organisational intranets is essential. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), created the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) which outlines internationally accepted standards to give access to the internet to as many people as possible. Not only does this apply to people who are vision or hearing impaired, but all websites should also ensure they are readily available to people with restricted movement or cognitive abilities.3
- 1. Australian Network on Disability, What is an Accessibility Action Plan?, accessed at: https://www.and.org.au/pages/what-is-an-accessibility-action-plan.html.
- 2. Australian Network on Disability, Accessibility action planning, accessed at: https://www.and.org.au/pages/disability-action-plan-development-and-advice.html.
- 3. W3C, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at W3C, 2018, accessed at: https://www.w3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility#wai.