Canberra’s October Roundtable roundup

Fri 6 October 2017


A group of six women sit in a circle. One woman is talking

Generously hosted by Department of Human Services (DHS) on Wednesday 5 October, our Canberra Roundtable was well-attended by members.

DHS provided comprehensive updates about their Workplace Adjustment Passport. They also talked about their Hearing Assistance Program, and noted their proud participation in the Australian Public Service Commission’s GradAccess initiative, which uses the new affirmative measures for disability. The floor was then opened to discuss career progression for people with disability, which proved highly engaging and highlighted several interesting initiatives that are underway.

Currently promoted through the DHS employee network, uptake of the Workplace Adjustment Passport by managers and staff has been positive. Developed in consultation with staff, the Passport ensures individuals’ workplace adjustment needs are documented, retained and accessible. This helps to eliminate any oversights that could result from organisational change. Given the success of the Passport thus far, the question was raised as to whether it could have broader implementation across the APSC.

Consultation on DHS’s new Hearing Assistance Program is ongoing. Designed to complement its broader access and inclusion strategy and accessible telecommunications program, connectivity improvements have already been seen within the Department. They have allowed for greater use of resources such as the National Relay Service. Under the program, a catalogue ensures specialty equipment, such as assistive listening devices, remote AUSLAN interpreting and audio telecommunications devices, are easily available to staff.

In this month’s highly engaging open forum, discussion centered on career development for people with disability. Key themes explored during the session included: the necessity for accessible training; the possibility of buddy or mentor programs to fill any gaps in the workplace, including a review of how candidates are selected; more opportunities for on-the-job training; potential scholarship programs; improving manager awareness and disability confidence; and recognition of career development in the workplace.

If you missed the October Roundtable, you can access more information on the member section of our website.


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