Archive for October, 2021

Mental Health Month 2021

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Look After Your Mental Health Australia

October is Mental Health Month and a reminder that we all benefit from looking after our own mental health and the mental health of our communities. It’s also a reminder for us to reach out and connect with friends, family, workmates and those we care about.

R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton says before we ask someone if they’re OK we need to feel well and able ourselves.

“Consider what brings you joy, do something for yourself.”

Mental Health Australia have developed digital and printable resources with ideas and activities to help you look after your mental health not only this month but every month.

Disability Employment Service Reform

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

DSS Committed to Creating Better DES Model

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is committed to creating a disability employment services model that better serves jobseekers with disability, service providers and employers.

Have your say through either or both of the below channels.

Complete the Survey

To support in this reform, PwC has been engaged by DSS to seek input from a wide range of stakeholders including employers, service providers and jobseekers to understand experiences, expectations and what is important to you in the disability employment services.

The survey should only take 10 minutes or less and responses will be anonymised and completely confidential.

If you are an employer or an employee of an organisation, PwC wants to hear from you.

Provide Feedback at AND Workshops

Australian Network on Disability will be representing the voice of our network at the Disability Employment Services reform.

Attitudes as Barriers to Inclusion

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Attitudes Are a Barrier to Inclusion: But There Are Solutions

Employer’s Choice?

One-fifth, or 20% of Australians agree that employers should be allowed to refuse to hire people with disability.

Common misconceptions and stereotypes might be responsible for that sentiment.

With many people being unaware of the business benefits.

Australians may believe:

  • it’s expensive to hire people with disability
  • people with disability are less productive
  • people with disability take more sick days

But according to Australian Network on Disability, building disability confidence can change attitudes.

AND are proud to say that they’re dispelling these misconceptions with their 360-strong member network leading the way.

Despite the differences, AND members have one goal in common.

Disability Inclusion is Firmly on the Agenda

AND members are creating a workplace environment that supports people with disability.

Currently, 54% of Australians agree that employers should not be allowed to refuse to hire people with disability.

While we still have ways to go to broaden that number, the AND network is pioneering the attitude change.

Is Your Workplace Inclusive of People with Disability?

Only 42% of Australians believe that workplaces are accepting of people with disability.

This indicates that there are still ways to go to create inclusive culture in workplaces.

  • We can build up inclusion through education and awareness about disability.
  • We can highlight business benefits of employing people with disability. And we can build up disability confidence.
  • We can change statistics like the one below.

“78% of Australians agree that people are unsure of how to act towards people with disability.”

Read the Full Report

Guide to Employer Resource Groups

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Curious About Employee Resource Groups?

Last month, Australian Network on Disability (AND) held two sessions on Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), also known as Disability Employee Networks (DEN)s.

Hosted by global disability networking and professional development hub – PurpleSpace, the sessions provided practical tips on:

  • Setting up an Employee Resource Group
  • Implementing a high performing Employee Resource Group.

What is an ERG?

An ERG is a forum where people with disability, carers, allies and friends connect to drive organisational change.

Emily Matthews, Member Experience Manager at AND, says:

“Forums like ERGs are integral. Everyone who is interested in accessibility and inclusion has the opportunity to connect and make positive, tangible changes for people with disability in the workplace.”

What is the purpose of an ERG?

  • An ERG drives organisational change through consultation, activity and conversation.
  • ERGs create inclusive and accessible workplaces by hosting events, developing policies and procedures.

Why do ERGs form?

ERG’s can form for many different reasons. ERGs may form:

  • To come together to support employees with disability and for those who care for people with disability. to raise ideas and discuss key workplace issues – including workplace adjustments (eg flexible work).
  • To consult across business; monitoring accessibility and inclusion of systems, policies and procedures.
  • To improve policies and procedures to provide a disability-focused forum, particularly at times when an organisation is undertaking substantial change, eg change of premises.

Currently 86 of AND’s members have an ERG – but that number continues to grow as employees see the value of connecting with other like-minded staff, especially as COVID has impacted the way work.

AND’s Tips on Starting an ERG

Getting started:

  • Develop a clear sense of purpose for the group that drives change
  • Establish Terms of Reference so everyone understands the processes
  • Have a clear structure – assign a Chairperson, secretary and, if needed, a treasurer.

AND suggests including the following:

  • A Senior Executive Disability Champion
  • Disability Employee Network leader
  • Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practitioner.

We encourage bringing the ERG and the D&I lead together to set the agenda for each ERG meeting.

What Can an ERG achieve?

  • Educate the broader organisation and raise awareness of inclusion and accessibility across the organisation.
  • Establish disability inclusion action plans for the organisation, supporting all employees with disability to work equitably.
  • Influence change – through activities or guiding decisions so inclusion and accessibility is considered.

Want to start an ERG with our support?

AND facilitates ERG formation workshops.

“We can help you talk through what your ERG can do, support you in identifying what you want to achieve in your network and also help you create the terms of reference,” Emily Matthews.

AWETISM 2021 – Register Now

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

AWETISM 2021 Virtual Expo

AWETISM 2021 is Australia’s biggest Autistic youth event also delivering free training for industry professionals.

A range of substantive content which will be shared at I Can Network’s free AWETISM 2021 Virtual Expo on Friday 12th of November 2021.

*Content will be available for an additional month, until the 12th of December to anyone who registers.

Training For Educators

For educators who are keen to understand their Autistic students better and accrue hours toward Teacher Identified Professional Development/Learning, there are two sessions of interest:

1) Insights for Teachers from an All-Autistic Panel – 12:30pm – 1:30pm AEDT.

Due to popular demand we are screening an exclusive replay from our 2020 AWETISM Expo in our I CAN SCHOOLS Auditorium which features the below speakers.

  • Dr Emma Goodall – Autistic Autism Researcher, Author and Education Specialist.
  • Lana Wheatfill – Former I CAN Mentee, now I CAN Mentor.
  • Kate Andrews – Parent, Educator & I CAN Northern Victoria Regional Manager.

The panel explore key topics to support Autistic students, including:

  • Supporting anxious students & those with PDA/demand avoidant profiles.
  • Interoception.
  • Accommodations which make a difference.
  • Building a school-home partnership to support student wellbeing.

2) Understanding & Empowering Your Autistic Students – 4.00pm – 5.00pm AEDT. 

  • Chris Varney – I CAN Chief Enabler & Founder.
  • Kate Andrews – Parent, Educator & I CAN Northern Victoria Regional Manager.
  • Tim Chan – Author & I CAN Ambassador.
  • Ayesha Carson, Caitlin Downie-Kempson, Kyal Kay & Sam Rose – I CAN Mentors.

Topics will include:

  • Creating a sense of safety and acceptance for your Autistic students.
  • Leveraging Autistic passions to enhance connection and engagement.
  • Nurturing strengths and positive identity.
  • Respectful, effective support for students with higher support requirements.
  • Insights from multiply neurodivergent (e.g. Autistic + ADHD, Dyslexia) students.
  • Register for AWETISM 2021

Autistic LGBTIA+ Young People

There is a significant overlap between the Autistic and LGBTIQA+ communities.

As part of our ongoing leadership in providing youth-informed resources, we are offering a free training session during our AWETISM Expo for adults who are keen to provide more meaningful support to Autistic LGBTIQA+ young people.

The training will be held in the I CAN SCHOOLS Auditorium – 3:00pm – 4:00pm AEDT, 12th November. 

Leading the training will be Sam Rose, an I CAN Mentor who runs our online groups for Autistic LGBTIQA+ young people and is co-author with Yenn Purkis of an upcoming book for Autistic trans teens.

The training content is heavily shaped by the insights of our 70+ youth collaborators across Australia on what they need to feel safe, accepted and validated.

Topics include:

  • What Autistic LGBTIQA+ young people want you to know.
  • Understanding Autism and neurodiversity.
  • Understanding gender diversity.
  • Navigating pronouns and respectful language.
  • Appreciating and accommodating sensory, social & communication differences.
  • Creating safe and inclusive spaces.
  • Nurturing positive identity.
  • How to find respectful resources & support…and more!
  • This training session was created with funding by the Victorian Government under the Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) program.

To learn more about our work in this important arena, including our mentoring programs and recently released tips & resources (3 sets) for Autistic LGBTIQA+ young people, the adults who support them and service providers, respectively, please see our website: AUTISTIC LGBTIQA 

Accessible SVG Floor Plans – Call for Participants

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Request for Participants for Research into Accessible SVG Floor Plans

A research team from the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University are looking for people who are colour blind, have low vision, have a motor impairment or dyslexia to use a new indoor floor plan navigation tool.

This study seeks to understand the users’ experience in exploring adaptive floor plans that gets adapted to fit users’ particular vision or reading difficulties.

During the study, questions will be asked to understand their prior experience with floor plans.

The research team will introduce the adaptive floor plan via a website and will request participants to explore 2 floor plans.

They will ask participants to perform some general way finding tasks and will obtain your feedback on overall user experience.

The user studies will take 30‐45 minutes.

Due to the COVID‐19 pandemic, this study will be done through the Zoom video conferencing platform.

Target users include people who experience:

  • Dyslexia
  • Colour vision impairment
  • Low vision
  • Movement impairment (wheelchair, scooter, cane, or crutch users)

Explanatory Statement and Consent Form

Once you contact the research team, they will send you the Explanatory Statement and the Consent Form in an email to provide you all the details about the project and your involvement.

If you are comfortable with your participation, reply to the email by stating that you consent to participate in this research project, and return the filled Consent form either electronically or by mail.

For more information, or to apply as a participant in this important research project, please contact Desmond Lau, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University

Expression Australia and Healthcare Australia Vaccination Hub

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

An Accessible and Inclusive Space for Those Who Want to Get Vaccinated

Expression Australia is partnering with Healthcare Australia to provide an accessible and inclusive space for those who want to get vaccinated.

On the dates below, there will be a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic available at the Expression Australia East Melbourne office for clients, members of the community, and staff, should they want to receive a COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer).

Level 3/340 Albert St, East Melbourne VIC 3002

First and/or second dose:

  • Friday 8th October

Follow up second dose:

  • Thursday 28th October
  • Friday 29th October

The vaccines will be provided by Healthcare Australia (first and/or second dose) with qualified nurses and support staff.

If you do want to attend the pop-up clinic and receive the vaccine you must make a booking. Bookings can be made via linke below.

Book for Your Vaccine NOW!

Last Chance for Stepping Into Internships

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Last Chance for Stepping Into Internships Summer 2021-2022

Australian Network on Disability (AND) have extended the application deadline for Stepping Into Internships to midnight Sunday 10th October!

  • AND have a great number of paid work experience opportunities across VIC this summer.

Internships are available to students with disability studying Accounting, Data, Law, Engineering, IT, Science, Commerce, Psychology, HR, Marketing, Social Science, Project Management and more!

Participating Victorian organisations include:

  • Asahi Holdings Australia
  • Australia Post
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
  • City of Greater Dandenong
  • City of Yarra
  • IAG
  • Jacobs
  • National Disability Insurance Agency
  • NBN Co Limited
  • RMIT
  • Stockland Corporation Ltd
  • The Royal Women’s Hospital
  • VIC Department of Education and Training
  • VIC Department of Health
  • VIC Department of Treasury and Finance
  • VIC Dept of Environment Land Water and Planning
  • VIC Dept of Families, Fairness and Housing
  • VIC Dept of Justice & Community Safety
  • Yooralla
  • Zoos Victoria

With over 200 internships available for students with disability, there are plenty of opportunities to gain paid work experience and add to your professional skills over the Summer break.

Head to AND’s website to view all available positions, and apply online by midnight, Sunday 10th October.

PLUS, if you have applied in previous intakes you don’t need to re-apply. Simply email with a list of at least 3 position preferences and we can use your previous application.

Want Some Interview Tips?

If you have applied for the program and want more tips and tricks on interviewing – come along to our free Plan for Success online information session on Thursday 14 October, 3 – 4pm (AEDT) and Monday 18 October, 3 – 4pm (AEDT) in Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne time.

These sessions are beneficial for all applicants. In addition to interview top tips, we will take you through the timeframe for Stepping Into.

There’s no need to register – just log on 3pm Thursday 14 October.

You can find login details for the session here.

Not Too Late to Change Preferences

Already applied? More positions have been added since our first email. Be sure to check our website for the updated list, and email if you would like to change your preferences.

Have questions about your application or eligibility? Get in touch with the Australian Network on Disability. You can email or phone 1300 36 36 45.