International Day of People with Disability: recognising workplace skills

3 December 2016: Today, around the world, the achievements and contributions of people with disability are celebrated to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance.  

Nowhere is this more important than in the workplace. According to the Disability Confidence Survey Report 2016 issued by the Australian Network on Disability, 89 per cent of businesses employing people with a disability say it benefits their operations.

Today’s Newscorp article covering this topic reports that workplaces employing workers with a disability have improved morale among employees, are more productive, have more loyal customers and fewer skill shortages.

HCF staff member, Julia Gilchrist knows firsthand how challenging it can be to secure a career while having a disability. She was born profoundly deaf but received cochlear implants in her early 20s. 

Despite being a top student and having prior part-time work experience, she found it difficult to progress beyond the job interview for full time positions. In the Newscorp article, Julia says, “People just didn’t want to take the risk of hiring a deaf person”.

Julia is now employed in communications support at HCF. “I was hired because I was the best person for the job. It’s taken 10 years to get to that point,” she says.