Going to work every day can have added complexities if you’re living with a disability, but the Department of Human Services (DHS) is breaking down barriers to make it easier for staff.
International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) takes place on 3 December. A United Nations sanctioned day, IDPwD aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
The IDPwD is a significant day for DHS.
In 2017-18, the Australian Network on Disability recognised DHS as a top performer in demonstrating a long-term commitment to providing access and inclusion for employees with disability through a number of strategies.
The department has a range of support tools available to help staff with day-to-day tasks – whether they work in customer service, in a support role or other part of the organisation.
Craig Newbery, Analyst Programmer, DHS, is based in Canberra and has worked for the Department for almost 20 years. Craig has vision loss. The Department's strategies to assist and support people with disability have helped Craig.
’Zoom Text is a computer tool which magnifies text and changes the colour of backgrounds for easier viewing, and it’s the tool I use the most,’ Craig said.
’The software also has screen reader abilities which I’ve become dependent on, as well as electronic and desk magnifiers.’
’An important part of my role is creating and maintaining computer programs. I have to be able to quickly and accurately read large amounts of text to be able to pick out small relevant sections. These tools allow me to do this easily.’
The recent State of the Service Report 2017-18 showed that of the census respondents, 8.7 per cent of APS employees reported having a disability.
The 2018 theme of IDPwD is empowering persons with disability and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.
This year the Australian Government is hosting national awards for disability leadership across seven categories. Visit the website for further information.