Employers urged to look beyond disabilities

EMPLOYERS discovered the benefits of hiring people with disabilities at a networking event in Leongatha last Wednesday.
Victoria’s Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell launched A Job for Everyone, a project that raises awareness of the advantages of hiring staff with disabilities.
It’s a project of the National Disability Coordination Officer Program, for which Andrea Evans-McCall is the Gippsland coordinator.
The networking event was organised by Ben Corcoran, who has completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in political science from Victoria University and is searching for work.
Around 40 people enjoyed the evening at Lucinda Estate Winery, talking to disability service providers, other small businesspeople and chatting with the members of Yooralla’s catering team, who helped with the evening.
Ms O’Connell told the audience, “Small businesses looking to employ someone with a disability should be looking at their abilities rather than their disabilities.
“We’re trying to emphasise that employees with disabilities are loyal and more productive.”
She said research indicates 87 percent of customers would rather buy from a business that employs someone with a disability and told how employers are often deterred from employing someone with a disability because of the “unknown” factor.
Ms O’Connell told of her own disability, having experienced a disease that left her paralysed for six weeks and spending six months learning to walk and talk again.
She said people with disabilities have overcome hardship that has made them stronger people.
Mr Corcoran has been looking for fulltime work since July and is often told he does not have the right experience or the job is not suitable for him.
After attending Korumburra Secondary College and South Gippsland Specialist School, he attended university and is now involved with Koonwarra CFA and South Gippsland Shire Council’s rural access committee.
“Never discourage someone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow,” he said.
“If you invest in your staff, you are growing your business and that brings more profit to your business.”
Terry Earl of TNT explosive printz at Wonthaggi told of his former role working with clients of the former disability service provider Moonya in Wonthaggi, as well as of his own experience with mental illness.
“Employers need to understand that if you get the right match, you can provide an amazing opportunity to someone that can change their lives,” he said.
Ms O’Connell said the Small Business Commissioner advocates on behalf of small businesses and assists with such matters as disputes with other small businesses or government agencies, and advocating for prompt payment.

Grand launch: from left, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien, National Disability Coordination Officer Program Gippsland coordinator Andrea Evans-McCall, event organiser Ben Corcoran, Victoria’s Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell, and event hosts Lucy and Andrew Gromotka of Lucinda Estate Winery, Leongatha at the launch of A Job for Everyone last Wednesday.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=26331

Posted by on Oct 30 2018. Filed under Business, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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