RMIT’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion earns top place in 2019-20 Index Benchmark Report

Tue 2 June 2020

Five people in corporate attire standing outside smiling.

Image: RMIT University employees celebrating International Day of People with Disability. 

 

RMIT has participated in the Index every year since 2016 and it has provided a framework for continuous improvement while guiding the progress of the Accessibility Action Plan.

RMIT University’s Chief Operating Officer and Senior Disability Champion, Dionne Higgins, said participation in the Index reflected the University’s commitment to maintain and build accessible physical, cultural and digital environments for all our community.

“Being an inclusive place to work and study is what makes RMIT special. This Index will help ensure our approach and services remain strong, relevant and measured so we can constantly improve to make a difference for everyone,” she said.

This commitment to access and inclusion earned RMIT the spot of Top Performer in the 2019-20 Index, a huge achievement that recognises the commitment and action taken by so many across RMIT to improve access and inclusion.

It has helped RMIT to improve access to employment, training and development, products and services, premises, communications and information communication technology.

Lara Rafferty, RMIT Associate Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, and Chair of the Accessibility Working Group, said RMIT’s achievement as top performer in the Index reflected a 'whole-of-community' approach to improving access and inclusion.

“Participating in the Access and Inclusion Index has been a great way for us to document our achievements over the past year, benchmark our progress, and engage the RMIT community on the next actions we need to take,” she said.

As a multi-sector university with more than 94,000 students and 12,000 staff globally, embedding cultural change and practical improvements at RMIT is not a simple task.

RMIT’s Digital Accessibility Framework was developed and launched in 2019, as a result of an external and consultative review, and drew on the insights from the Access and Inclusion Index report to enhance RMIT’s strategic commitment to digital accessibility.  

RMIT considered what the standards for accessibility should be for their software and digital content, and what they need to do to meet them, in order to develop the plan for 2020 and beyond.

The new Digital Accessibility Framework creates pathways for greater inclusion, setting consistent standards for delivering online information, content and services to meet the needs of the diverse community at RMIT and making them accessible and engaging for a wider audience.

By creating consistent standards for digital accessibility, RMIT will set an important goal to both meet and celebrate the diverse needs of the community of students and staff and improve everyone’s experience at RMIT.

Amy Love, RMIT Senior Inclusion Manager, People, said that participation in the Index Benchmark Report is an investment for the future of the RMIT.

“It elevates the standard for us to work toward and provides an opportunity to implement leading practices,” she said. 

“This is advocated not only by our leaders at RMIT, but also raises the expectations of our staff and students to live and experience our value of inclusion. RMIT is proud that we have been ranked as the top performer in the Index.”

About the Access and Inclusion Index

The Access and Inclusion Index is Australia’s foremost corporate benchmarking tool for inclusion of people with disability. It supports organisations to assess their performance across 10 key business areas, which contributes to an overall score out of 100.

No matter where you are on the journey to disability confidence, the Index helps you:

  • Deeply understand access and inclusion across your organisation
  • Gain insights into areas of strength and opportunity 
  • Establish a foundation from which to build disability confidence and capability
  • Set measurable performance goals across key business areas
  • Build awareness and knowledge across your workforce
  • Engage your whole organisation in the access and inclusion agenda
  • Gain a roadmap to accelerate year-on-year progress
  • Formulate a strategic plan for the future

To find out more, or discuss how you can participate in 2020, please contact us on 1300 363 645 or email accessandinclusion@and.org.au.

Read our Access and Inclusion Index Benchmark Report 2019-20 for more valuable insights into how organisations are making significant progress and staying on course.

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