Disability, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

May 11, 2022

The NDIS is very much in the news currently and we cover some of these issues in this edition of Don’t Be Left Out of NDIS. However Autism Month in April has highlighted the importance of embracing the abilities of people with disabilities in the workplace. Read on to find out but first….


DSC Home Care Platform

We’ve been busy with our usual compliance and policy work but are widening our interests in this field.

As NDIS processes and compliance requirements have become more and more enforced in recent years, many smart applications and systems have come into the market. Facilitrade has been presented with several such innovations but, as NDIS compliance and administrative specialists, one such product in particular has captured our attention.

We’ve had several interesting discussions with the innovative duo, Hengki and Nanan, at Day Spring Care who launched the DSC Home Care platform.

compliance at source

They’ve built this cloud-based mobile app for support workers, coordinators and administrators for NDIS and Aged Care. Their product has already been adopted by many providers, as it allows support workers to plan their workload effectively and manage participant information.

What caught our attention is that it is an end-to-end system for rostering and addresses at source many crucial aspects of NDIS administration and compliance for both providers and support workers.

It is simple to use and dynamic but the 2 main attractions of this product, compared to several other similar software in the market are:

  • The inbuilt compliance and feedback measures
  • The Client Connect module.

The former makes the internal audit process and data management more efficient and ensures organisations work to NDIS Quality aEfficient Administrationnd Safeguard Standards. The latter focuses on the all-important areas of customer experience and continuous improvement through its built-in feedback provision.

Another advantage of this product is its affordability.  The partners have come up with a smart pricing structure to suit the size of each client organisation.

Facilitrade NDIS has partnered with Day Spring Care. Should you be interested, please contact us on janaki@facilitrade.com.au  and we are happy to elaborate on the benefits of this system.


Diversity and Inclusion

You would have seen and heard a lot about World Autism Awareness Month in April. The highlight for me was an interesting anecdote from Stephen Mckee, a colleague at Transport for NSW. This government department are leaders in not only promoting but demonstrating diversity and inclusiveness through their Tailored Talent Program.

They’ve disrupted traditional recruitment practices and opened up to autistic people, recognising their natural talent for skills in innovative thinking, strong problem solving, attention to detail and technical capabilities.

Diversity and Inclusion

I quote Stephen: “I’m a Senior Business Analyst (Reporting) within Corp Services and the IT Division, but more importantly, I am an Autistic adult & proudly so.

I came to Transport in 2020, in what was then the pilot Tailored Talent Program’ which sought to hire Autistic staff across the NSW Public Service. The program aimed to act as a disruptor to our recruitment practices and sought to hire us via alternative methods to the standard interviewing process.

While the keyword here is awareness, those of us in the autistic community would much prefer a move towards acceptance.

Acceptance for who we authentically are and what we can bring to the table when given a chance.

Nearly two years ago, transport took a chance on myself and 8 others. Since then, the sheer majority of us have been given permanency in our roles & promoted.

This is what happens when you give us a go. We take hold and don’t let go. We grow beyond your wildest expectations you set for us.

Here in transport, myself and the others have formed our own little clique. A ‘family‘ if you will.

We’ve done so well in our work; transport has decided to hire more of us and grow my family. Another 6 were added in the last few months, with more coming in future. I’ll soon have over 20 members in my little family 🙂

What this shows, is that we are a benefit to transport and by extension, the people of NSW.

We may be a little bit different; we may run a different mental ‘operating system’; but this makes us no less human, no less a person.

We are more than what the stereotypes about us say. For as the old saying goes, “If you know one person on the spectrum, then you know one person on the spectrum.

I am proud to work for Transport as we continue to lead the hiring of autistic talent in the NSW Public Service and as we grow the Tailored Talent Program.

If you take one thing away from my post, it is this: Nothing about us, without us“.

– Stephen Mckee”

My opinion is that no group should be marginalised from opportunities when they are also a part of the community in which those opportunities exist.

We’ve heard enough stories about how people with disabilities don’t share their disability at interviews, as they don’t know how their employers will react. When they have disclosed their disability, they have not been successful in their job interviews.

Include Diversity

What employers seldom look for are their abilities and fail to realise that people with disabilities know how to overcome various barriers in their lives, and that this is an additional value they bring to the workforce.

According to the Australian Network on Disability, almost one in five (18.9%) people with disability aged 15-24 years experienced discrimination. In almost half of those instances, the source of discrimination is an employer.We should all play a role in not making assumptions about individual capabilities and not excluding potentially suitable candidates. Instead, be inclusive and consider their strengths and relevance to the job, as some individuals have great strengths in some areas and not others. The more we are loud about it the greater the possibility of reducing discrimination, bias, and inflexible work arrangements.


Keeping your workplace free of harassment

An Australian Human Rights Commission report has found sexual harassment continues to be pervasive in Australian workplaces.

The psychological and social conditions of the workplace are as important as the physical conditions. On average, workers spend more of their waking hours in a work situation whether they are in the traditional office or workplace or working from home. It is therefore crucial that any form of harassment can be harmful to their health and to their wellbeing.

With this in view changes are proposed to the Sex Discrimination Act. These changes as well as other  key ways to help keep workplaces safe, are covered in this article by the Governance Institute of Australia.

Wage increases in the care sector – Imminent at last?

Currently there’s a lot of talk in the political scene, of wage increase in the care sector as we move closer to the Federal elections in Australia. The inadequate wage rates in aged care and disability services have long been recognised and reinforced by the Royal Commissions that have investigated these sectors. Only if workers are paid properly, the sector can attract the right workforce and retain them. Let’s hope that the incoming government will address this issue of underpaid labour.

Australian Disability Enterprises exploiting workers

The Disability Royal Commission’s Findings have highlighted that disability enterprises exploit their workers by under paying them.

The Disability Royal Commission’s public hearing on Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) identified several cases of workers who have demonstrated the required skills for the job and fulfilling above and beyond their job requirements, being exploited with low wages and no fair increments for years. ADEs are organisations that provide employment opportunities to people with disability supported by the government.

It is heartening to know that these unfair practices have been investigated and brought to light. Let’s hope there’ll be some beneficial outcomes such as abilities being recognised, rather than only disabilities and that wages will be commensurate with these abilities.

Facilitrade NDIS is not only about assisting to navigate compliance issues in the disability sector but also about creating greater awareness about the inequities in this sector so that solutions can be promoted.

Happy reading and as always, please reach out if you’d like to air your thoughts on these topics or wish to contribute.

Warm Regards,


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