Type to search

third sector Partnerships Foundation

Nike, ANZ support NFP to reduce unemployment among people with disabilities

3 min read

The Dylan Alcott Foundation has launched a behaviour change initiative to reduce unemployment among people with disabilities, asking Australians to remove the visible and invisible barriers that prevent people with disability finding work.

The charitable organisation founded by Paralympic gold medallist and 9 x grand-slam tennis champion, radio host, TV presenter and disability advocate, Dylan Alcott, already has Nike, ANZ, NEC, Medibank and QT Melbourne throwing their support behind its initiative.

Called Remove the barrier, it addresses a problem facing one in five Australians, 4.3 million people, living with a disability. Only 54 percent of people with disability have employment, with little to no initiatives in place to change this.

Remove the barrier looks to highlight that people with disabilities spend their whole lives overcoming barriers, but there’s one they can’t get past, work their way around or find a solution to without everyone’s help – getting a job.

As Dylan Alcott explains, despite being willing and able workers, people with disability struggle to find jobs.

“When people with disability look for work, it’s often what we don’t see that is the biggest barrier – that of unconscious bias. This invisible barrier is at the core of the campaign and is what The Dylan Alcott Foundation and the young people with disability involved in the campaign are asking businesses and individuals to remove,’ Alcott said.

The Dylan Alcott Foundation decided it was time to raise awareness of unemployment among people with disability and change perceptions of what they can achieve in the workplace. One of the stars of the campaign is 24-year-old, university-educated, Oliver Hunter who uses a wheelchair and has encountered unconscious bias, lack of opportunities and accessibility issues in his hunt for fulfilling work.

“I’d happily go into an interview and get knocked back for my lack of skills, but I’ve always felt that my disability has been the sole reason for employers turning me down,” Oliver said.

Some organisations in Australia are embracing disability, as Shayne Elliott, CEO at ANZ explains: “At ANZ, our purpose is to shape a world where people and communities thrive. Communities thrive when everyone has opportunity.”

“Our role is to provide opportunity through employment and ensure our products and services are inclusive and enable every member of our communities to participate and maximise their potential. We know there is still work to be done to fully include people with disability in the workplace, so we’re pleased to support The Dylan Alcott Foundation in this important campaign,” Elliott said.

Nike is equally supportive. Nike Pacific General Manager, Ashley Reade, said: “We are excited to partner with The Dylan Alcott Foundation. We are dedicated supporters of Dylan on the court and have enjoyed celebrating the incredible and inspiring success of Dylan as an athlete. We are delighted to extend our support for Dylan off the court, for this important initiative which champions what Nike stands for; equality and inclusion.”

For the Dylan Alcott Foundation, the support of ANZ, Nike and other companies is just the beginning.

“I hope Remove the barrier sparks important conversations about disability inclusion in boardrooms, shop floors and offices around the country,” Dylan said. “Regardless of the fact that people with disability deserve the same rights as able bodied people, disability inclusion is simply good business.”

In Australia, 66% of those that do employ people with disability have experienced clear benefits including strengthening workplace morale, improved skill set, greater customer satisfaction and improved productivity.

Evidence has shown people with disability tend to take fewer days off, take less sick leave and stay in jobs for longer than other workers.

The Dylan Alcott Foundation, in collaboration with BWM Dentsu has launched a powerful video that follows three people overcoming physical and mental barriers as they prepare for their working day. It closes on Oliver, unable to get through an invisible barrier at the front door of his office.

The hero film and accompanying imagery will feature in Out of Home, TV, digital and online media across Australia throughout July and August.

Oliver, who stars in the film, said: “People with disability are fully capable of doing an office job, a supermarket or a retail shop. Just give us a go. Let us have a crack and you’ll see what we’re capable of.”


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *