1 in 6 people in Australia live with a disability. While society has come a long way in becoming more inclusive, it can still be difficult to find employment for people with disabilities.
Finding the right fit for your unique situation will depend on a variety of factors.
Making sure you have done your research, have the skills and have the right people supporting you are all crucial to finding the right job.
Understand your capabilities
The Australian Human Rights Commission has identified several barriers to employment for people with disabilities, including:
Difficulty experienced in accessing flexible work arrangements
Difficulty in negotiating reasonable adjustments/accommodation in the workplace
Lack of availability of accessible transport, technology in the workplace and workplace design.
These barriers may mean it might be more difficult in finding work in jobs where you don’t have as much direct experience or transferrable skills.
This is why it is important to have a clear view in your mind what kind of job you are looking for and how your experience and skills line up with the expectations of the role.
Seeking out people in the industry you are looking to work in is a great idea as they can give you a greater understanding of what a career in the field looks like.
They can also give you a clear picture of the realities of the role as sometimes the role descriptions in a job advert aren’t always as clear as they should be.
Be aware of the supports available to you
The Australian Government provides a range of disability supports for both companies that employ people with disabilities and for the individual.
These will depend on the disability you live with and where in your career you are.
These supports are tailored to your particular situation, whether that means extra training to get you ready for the job, liaising with a workplace for adjustments, or obtaining equipment to help you do your job.
Find an advocate
Navigating the job search process as someone living with disability has its challenges. That’s why having someone on your side to guide you through the ups and downs of finding a job is so important.
These companies understand the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce and know what supports employees need to succeed.
MAX also provides access to a range of in house allied health professionals that can provide support, whether only needed once or ongoing, to help you maintain your health in your job.
Having a team on your side that understands employment for people with disabilities can take a lot of the mental and physical stress out of job searching.