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International Day of People with Disability – 3 December



Friday 3 December is the International Day of People with Disability.

This day was developed by the United Nations to increase public awareness, understanding and inclusion of people with disability.

In Australia, 4.4 million people live with disability. One in 10 people with disability have experienced discrimination due to their disability sometime in the last year, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Forty-seven per cent have experienced violence after the age of 15. Women with disability are more likely to experience violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation, according to Women with Disabilities Victoria.

We all have a part to play in creating accessible and inclusive communities and services. Get started with the following tips and resources:

  1. Listen to people with disability. Prioritise and elevate their diverse voices, experiences and knowledge.

  2. Prioritise representation of people with disability in panels, discussions, projects and leadership groups.

  3. Educate yourself and others around you about disability, ableism and appropriate language, using resources such as this Language Guide created by People With Disability Australia.

  4. Hire people with lived experience to consult and/or deliver training to your workplace.

  5. Don’t make assumptions about whether someone has disability. Many disabilities are not immediately visible, for example, sensory, intellectual, psychological and some types of physical disability.

  6. Follow the social model of disability, which ‘seeks to change society in order to accommodate people living with impairment; it does not seek to change persons with impairment to accommodate society. It supports the view that people with disability have a right to be fully participating citizens on an equal basis with others.'

  7. Consider how you can make your services and workplace accessible for clients, customers and staff, including:

    • ensuring spaces are physically and easily accessible – for example, wheelchair ramps, accessible bathrooms, quiet spaces for people with sensory disability, and clear directional signage

    • enabling flexible work arrangements for staff with disability

    • making sure your service is communication accessible. This means being patient, respectful and friendly to all people, and giving multiple ways for clients/customers to access your services depending on their communication needs. For example, different people may communicate via speech, typing, email, phone, face-to-face, video call, via an interpreter, through the National Relay Service, or using picture boards and other types of communication and speech devices

    • reviewing your website and documents for digital accessibility and providing Easy Read and/or Plain Language versions of core information.


More information and resources

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