We need fewer disabled people in the workplace. But many more with lived experience of disability (Disabled People).

By Phil Turner

Considering the role that I am in, you may think that a statement like “we need fewer disabled people in the workplace” would be a career killer, but only if you don’t understand the social model of disability. What I want is fewer people being disabled in and by their workplace, and instead more Disabled People (people with lived experience of disability) in the workplace.

We achieve this by employing more Disabled People and ensuring that our workplaces remove the barriers that disable them.

The Office of Disability Issues aptly defines disability as –

“The social model of disability specifies that individuals do not have a disability – it lies in society.”

“The experience of disability occurs when people with impairments are excluded from places and activities most of us take for granted. It happens when our infrastructure and systems do not accommodate the diverse abilities and needs of all citizens.”

It then goes on to define Disabled People as –

“People with impairments are disabled if society does not provide an environment that takes their impairments adequately into account. Consequently, they experience barriers preventing their participation in society.”

Hopefully, you can now see where I am going with this.

In my last article (When disabled and neurodiverse people truly belong, everyone benefits), I talked about why NZ workplaces should go beyond becoming more disability and neurodiversity inclusive. Instead, becoming a workplace where disabled and neurodiverse people are a part of the collective “us”. The benefits are tangible, but most importantly, it reflects one of New Zealand’s core values, fairness and equality.

But how do disabled people become a part of “us” when our workplaces are not set up for it?

This is the big question, and we all play a part. We must start by accepting that it is New Zealander’s decisions and attitudes that disable people every day. They are not disabled because of their impairment, but instead because of our collective decisions, some conscious and many unconscious. The workplace is no exception to this.

But the good news is we make decisions every day, and this means that we can start making better decisions right now. You can make decisions today that reduce the barriers that disabled people will face.

Barriers

If we can remove or reduce the number of barriers faced by disabled people, we enable them to show their true potential. Which then encourages us to remove more barriers, leading to even better results.

When preparing to write this, I asked myself – how do you do justice to the many types of barriers that disabled people face in the workplace. The only conclusion I could reach was, I can’t. I could write many articles, and I may, that talk about individual types of barriers, but for this article, some categories deserve special mention.

  • Attitudinal – these are the behaviours, perceptions, and the biggest one – assumptions, that people have and make around the capability and needs of Disabled People.They are often formed with the best of intention (e.g. keeping someone safe) but generally come from a lack of knowledge and stereotypes. In the workplace, this can manifest in ways such as assuming that a disabled person will be a greater health and safety risk (rarely true, and more often actually the opposite) or that they will not be able to do the role as they can’t access the computer (also rarely true).
  • Organisational and systemic – the inclusion of disabled people in the workforce can be problematic as decisions made before they arrive exclude them. The way policies, procedures and/or practices are set up can make the workplace unsuitable, or at least more complicated, before the disabled person even arrives.
  • Architectural and physical – this is the one that most people think about when we talk about accessibility. Where is someone going to park their car? How will they get up the stairs? etc. It is all about the setup of buildings and environments so that everyone can use them.
  • Information or communications – these barriers occur when people don’t understand how to communicate with people with different communication needs. Think about those with sensory impairments, such as hearing loss, sight loss or different cognitive processing. Take some time to learn about accessible document and assistive technology. But most of all, have conversations with people and learn how they want to be communicated with.
  • Technology – when technology is implemented, are the needs of potential future staff considered? The selection of inaccessible technology solutions can lead to users of assistive technology and techniques being excluded, or at the very least being perceived as complicated to employ.

If you want to focus on anything from the outset, focus on attitudinal barriers. Resolving attitudinal barriers and removing the misinformation and assumptions about the capability of disabled people leads to their potential being understood by all. From there, people naturally start to remove the other barriers as they see and understand how they are “one of us”.

In a workplace, it is about culture. Do we have a culture of accepting and supporting a person to be who they are, and to thrive in our environment? There is no magic bullet to change the disability inclusive culture of an organisation. Instead, it requires careful and considered leadership over a period of time that reinforces the organisation’s commitment and belief in disability inclusion.

“We don’t have anyone with a disability in our workplace, so we don’t need to fix anything.”

I have two answers to this common statements like this, I always struggle to pick which one to run with first.

  1. How do you know that? 19% of working-age New Zealanders have a disability. 70% of these disabilities are hidden. Are you still so sure that you don’t have disabled people that are hiding them from you? Are you enabling your whole team to perform at their best?
  2. Nor will you if you don’t change how you approach things – missing out on the great talent and diverse perspectives of disabled people.

Disability smart is good for business and New Zealand

With the New Zealand unemployment rate at 3.9%, and with an underutilised (albeit regularly marginalised) disabled workforce available, doesn’t it make sense to start ripping down the barriers? Only then will Disabled People be able to show their true potential.

The ILO estimates the difference between countries getting this right and those doing nothing is 7% of a country’s GDP. NZ’s GDP in 2021 was $305 billion New Zealand dollars, the difference between doing nothing and getting this right is $21 billion New Zealand dollars.

Conclusion

As New Zealanders, we believe in fairness and equality. It is one of our core values and is at the heart of our being. So why then are the unemployment rates of capable disabled people so high? I can tell you it’s not because of a lack of potential, it’s because right throughout our society we don’t make the right decisions that empower them to realise it.

What decision are you and your organisation going to make today that starts to change that?

When disabled and neurodiverse people truly belong, everyone benefits

By Phil Turner

Where does your organisation sit in relation to disability and neurodiversity on the above Belonging Continuum?

At the Accessibility Tick and New Zealand Disability Employers’ Network we work with organisations on their disability and neurodiversity inclusion. But inclusion is not enough and is not the ultimate end game. It can’t be! Let me explain.

Let’s use a meeting analogy to explore what I mean…

Diversity

In a diverse meeting, we have a good range of people in the room, including disabled and neurodiverse people. We feel good about it, as it’s lovely to see such a range of people in the room.

But just because someone is in the room doesn’t mean that they are participating. The meeting has not been set up in a way that invites them to have a voice, nor does it make them feel a part of something.

If we are truthful, this is where we are at (or not even at) with most disability and neurodiversity employment in New Zealand. The disabled and neurodiverse people are in the room, if they are lucky, and we feel proud to have welcomed them.

Inclusion

That’s OK, let’s have an inclusive meeting. We can invite disabled and neurodiverse people to sit down at the table and include them in the discussion.

We’ll ask them questions and hear their perspective. We may even value their views, leading to better outcomes for all. We feel even better because we are inclusive, bringing disabled and neurodiverse voices to the conversation.

Have you noticed something? It is still about us. We are feeling good due to us being disability and neurodiversity inclusive.

Belonging

This is where the magic happens. Let’s ensure everyone belongs at the meeting.

To date, it has been all about us. We have felt good about bringing people into the room and then into the conversation. It shouldn’t be about them or us, as there is only us.

When disabled and neurodiverse people belong, they are our equals at the meeting table. They participate not because we invited them into the room and asked them to talk, but because they are a part of us and it would make no sense to have the meeting without them. They add their own unique value just like the rest of us.

Now we are really getting somewhere. Disabled and neurodiverse people are there because everyone knows they belong there as part of the whole, and everyone benefits.

Why should we care?

To be honest, I should just state here “It’s the right thing to do”, and be done with it. In New Zealand, one of our core values is fairness and equality. With everyone having the right to live a full and productive life in the way they choose. That should be enough.

But smart organisations are seeing that not only is it the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Organisations that get this right see the following benefits (and more):

  • Increased talent pool – there is a large pool of talented yet unemployed disabled and neurodiverse people, many of which have never been give the opportunity to reach their full potential.
  • Committed employees – on average, disabled people take less sick leave and stay longer in jobs. There are loads more stats I could share here, but that will have to be another article.
  • Better understanding of their customers – having disabled and neurodiverse employees leads to better institutional knowledge about disability and neurodiversity. Did we mention 24% of New Zealanders have a disability, and the estimated prevalence of all neurodiversities is 15-20%?
  • Stronger reputation – organisations that get this right improve their image amongst their staff, customers, and the community.
  • Increased innovation – disabled and neurodiverse people have barriers put in front of them all the time, which can contribute to them becoming great innovators, a strength which they then bring to the workplace.

How do we improve?

Disability and neurodiversity belonging doesn’t just happen overnight because someone decided that the organisation would be that way. It takes careful execution of a well thought out plan, involving considerable cultural change. But there are two things you can do to kick things off.

  • Normalise disability and neurodiversity in your conversations – the first step to cultural change is to bring disability and neurodiversity out of the shadows. Create an organisational understanding of why it should be disability and neurodiversity inclusive, and then talk about it. A lot.
  • Hire disabled and neurodiverse people – bringing disabled and neurodiverse talent into your team, and supporting them to succeed, is the single most effective way of changing your culture. This may involve some accommodations on your behalf, but it also may not. Either way, in my experience, the benefits always outweigh the costs.

If you would like to talk more about disability and neurodiversity belonging within your organisation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us – info@accessibilitytick.nz.


A word on the language used in the article

The language we use is important. Throughout this article I have used the term “disabled and neurodiverse people”. As such, I have chosen to use the term disabled people instead of people with disabilities, inline with the social model of disability and the New Zealand Disability Strategy. If your preference is person first language (ie. people with disabilities) then please substitute that in while reading the article.


Christmas Shopping with Disability Social Enterprises

Inspired by the disability social enterprise market Air New Zealand organised for their staff the past two years. They have kindly shared this list of disability enterprises – and we have added some extras that we have been made aware of. Please consider supporting if you are looking for gift inspiration this Christmas, or anytime that you want to give a gift that has real meaning.


Two young men sit at a table which displays a range of wooden Christmas trees which are decorated. They have their arm around each others shoulders, and they are smiling.

Matt and Tom – Eco Christmas Trees

Matt and Tom are twins with Down Syndrome who love Christmas. They have a small range of Christmas themed and gift products, including:

  • Small and large wood Christmas trees
  • Felt star decorations
  • Loc-blocks

A close up shot of a jar with a black label and white text reading Our Harvest - Growing Goodness Together. Guava Jelly. Spray Free, Made by Moxie.

Our Harvest – Sauces, Jams and Jelly

Treat your taste buds with delicious Our Harvest preserves. Our Harvest products are grown, harvested and made with love by Recreate‘s Our Harvest team.


A woman holding two bags of coffee and a man sitting in a chair beside her. They are smiling.

Drink My Coffee

Drink My Coffee is a social enterprise to create employment opportunities for disabled New Zealanders. We are doing this by creating jobs for people to manufacture and distribute premium coffee and enabling people with disabilities to be self-employed, selling the coffee.

Find your local distributor on the order page to support them with their own business.


Family standing hand in hand on the beach. The sun is setting behind them. The parents wear blue tshirts reading I Love My Autistic Child and I Support Someone with Autism. A young girl wears a red tshirt that reads I Support Someone with Autism. The yound boy wears a black tshirt that reads Keep Calm I Have Autism I'm just Being Myself

Chambers & Co – T-shirts and Weighted Blankets

Chambers & Co are devoted to creating a community of compassion and inclusion for all of those touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their distinct apparel has been designed to raise public awareness of the day-to-day challenges that living with Autism brings.


Purple logo of Downlights New Zealand
Row of five smiling people wearing grey Downlights t-shirts. The female in the middle is holding a candle.

Downlights – Soy Candles, Christmas Decorations and Cards

Downlights is a New Zealand-owned and operated fragranced soy candle company that manufactures luxury candles using artisanal techniques. Their candles are lovingly hand-poured and the entire manufacturing process supports the development of a variety of workplace skills and offers employment opportunities for young adults with Down Syndrome and intellectual or learning disabilities.


Will & Able eco-products

New Zealand’s only range of eco-friendly cleaning products creating jobs for Kiwi’s with disabilities.

Good products that are good for our planet.

  • Quality products
  • Environmental Choice NZ certified
  • Bottles made from 100% recycled NZ milk bottles so no more virgin plastics

On the left is a pink circle with the letters ML in the centre. Across the initials are the words Moments with Love also in pink.
Beside the logo a picture of two woman sitting together looking at a gift box. The woman on the left is in a wheelchair. There are candles on the table in front of them and a range of gifts line the shelves in the background.

Moments with Love – Disability Social Enterprise Gift Boxes

Moments with Love creates high-quality gift boxes with a twist. Our mission is to provide you with an experience that will bring joy and create treasured memories as you enjoy a moment of love of your own.  

Each box is carefully curated to feature something to wear, something to do, and something delicious to eat & drink. Many of them include incredible body and bath products & handmade items crafted by our family. Their boxes also feature products from companies supporting people with disabilities. They have partnered with leading kiwi social enterprise companies supporting people with disabilities to bring you the highest quality of award-winning products.

Note: Moments with Love is busy updating their new website. If there aren’t any products on the pages, check back in a few days.

You can also check out their physical store in 4 Palm Court, Silverdale, Auckland (Google Maps)


On the left the logo for Bradley's K9 Munchies in white red and black inside a dog bone shape. On the right. Bradley holds a tray of freshly baked dog treats. He is smiling.

Bradley’s K9 Munchies – Dog Treats

Bradley’s K9 Munchies is a Southland-owned and operated dog treat company that bakes tasty goods for good dogs. Our treats are baked with love and hand-cut. And the entire manufacturing process offers employment opportunities for young adults with access needs and learning disabilities.


Left Olivers Doggie Treats logo on a beige background with a white paw print centre top. Right is Oliver placing a tray of dog bone shaped treats into the oven to bake.

Oliver’s Doggie Treats – Dog Treats

Oliver’s Doggie Treats are delicious, healthy, hand-made dog biscuits by Oliver, a dog-loving boy with Down Syndrome from Auckland who lives life to the fullest!


Illustration of characters from the Awesome Superheros book. The characters are poised in a forest/

The Awesome Superheroes – The Bank Robbery – Book

Laetitia Tan is a teenage author with Down Syndrome. She wrote this book with the support of her Speech and Language Therapist. Laetitia hopes to inspire you to use your imagination and tell your story – it does not matter that it is not perfect, so long as you are happy with it.


Three Christmas trees made from driftwood, adorned with Christmas lights. They are positioned on top of a larger piece of driftwood.

Fishwood Design – Artist

Creating art with nature! Hand crafted driftwood sculptures to hang in the garden, bach or home. Especially perfect for those who love the sea!


Left is the logo Art + Soul in turquoise. Right is a piece of artwork of houses in bright primary colours with a blue frame.

Art+Soul

A small business based in Milford, on Auckland’s North Shore with the purpose of bridging the gap for young adults living with disabilities. They are very maverick in their approach to enable their member’s successes and life choices. They aim to achieve this in a safe, respectful, and stimulating environment where all abilities and levels of capability should be considered and catered for.

Products include arts, crafts, soaps and body products, handmade greeting cards, and more.


Three handmade Christmas cards arranged on a table. They are made from various folded papers and feature designs of a Christmas tree, a star and a Christmas stocking.

Bellcraft Cards

Lia is a Hibiscus Coast mum who lives with Cerebral Palsy and chronic pain. As a result, her mobility has decreased a great deal over the last few years and relies on a wheelchair for mobility. Her current self-propelled wheelchair is a huge help but it is limiting. She would love to be able to join her family on the beach again, rather than spectating from the grass. Lia has set a goal to fundraise for an Omeo hands-free, all-terrain wheelchair.

Lia has made these beautiful cards with off-cuts from various paper merchants and is selling these through her Facebook page to fundraise for her new wheelchair.


A tray of freshly made dark chocolate bars
Row of Organic Wildness Chocolate varieties including Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Acai, Dark Chocolate with Cupuaca and Coconut, Dark Chocolate with Cupuaca and Cashews, 57% Cocoa Dark Chocolate with Walnuts, Dark Chocolate with Vietnamese Mango, Dark Chocolate with Bee Pollen from Nelson and Pure 57% Cocoa Dark Chocolate.

Wildness Chocolate

Wildness is a Social Enterprise in Wellington, New Zealand and Singapore. We harness the passion, skills and energy of exceptional Singaporeans with special needs at APSN CFA (Association for Persons with Special Needs Centre for Adults) and in the Rimutaka prison in New Zealand.

Packed with eco-friendly zero-waste materials, our delicious organic chocolates are handmade using only the finest ingredients and environmentally sustainable methods.


Young man is working on a piece of art. He is looking at the canvas and his paint brush as he applies the paint.

Yaniv Janson – Contemporary Fine Artist

Yaniv is a young New Zealand artist from the small coastal town of Raglan. His work centres on his great passion for environmental and social issues and this has been reflected in his artworks.

Living with both epilepsy and autism, Yaniv doesn’t let either dictate who he is. He began painting 13 years ago and creates the work from home, enjoying the freedom of determining his own schedule. He can choose when, where and what to paint and loves that it is something that people all over the world can enjoy.

Being awarded over 18 awards, participating in more than 40 exhibitions and having sold in excess of 180 paintings, Yaniv is far from finished.

NZDEN Letter to the Minister re Disability Systems Transformation and Accessibility Legislation

Today the New Zealand Disability Employers’ Network (NZDEN) wrote to Hon. Minister Sepuloni as Minister of Disability Issues congratulating her on the recent announcements for Disability Systems Transformation and the planned accessibility legislation.

The NZDEN is largely supportive of the annoucement and will be interested to see further details as they become available. We look forward to having a good relationship with the new Ministry for Disabled People (name pending) and Accessibility Governance Board.

“We know that employers have a vital role to play in positive disability outcomes. As the leading employer body in New Zealand solely committed to improving career outcomes for disabled people, disability inclusion and accessibility, we ask to be fully engaged in the creation of the new Ministry, drafting of the legislation and creation of the Accessibility Governance Board.”

“By the Government including the NZDEN as a partner in this process and future systems, we can ensure that any final systems and legislation will work for both disabled people, our members, and other NZ employers, leading to positive outcomes for all.”

The letter was sent in multiple accessible formats, in support of many New Zealanders who have a print disability and access information differently.

Download the full letter here in accessible formats –

NZDEN Disability Inclusive Pathways Conference 2021 – photo gallery

The Accessibility Tick welcomes Sandra Budd

The Accessibility Tick is very pleased to announce that Sandra Budd has joined the Accessibility Tick team as a Relationship Manager.

Sandra brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge. Her previous roles include Chief Executive and senior executive in the Australasian public health, disability and not-for-profit sectors.

She has led national and multi-state initiatives modernising services within the NZ Blind Foundation, South Australian Children Youth and Women’s Health Service, NSW’s Greater Southern Area Health Service and Auckland Healthcare’s maternity and neonatal services.

Sandra has a strong background in organisation transformation and building social enterprises. She is also an experienced board director, sitting on existing Boards and and Advisory Groups.

She has had considerable experience in community engagement and relationship building. As a certified member of Australasian International Association for Public Participation she works with people to build compelling desired futures.

It is important to note that our programme and network wouldn’t exist without Sandra having supported us in her role as Chief Exectuive of the Blind Foundation. It was Sandra’s foresight and support that enabled us to get started, and become what we are today.

We are certain that you will agree, Sandra is a positive addition to the Accessibility Tick and NZ Disability Employers’ Network whanau.

Sandra looks forward to meeting our members in the near future.

International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) 2020

Internation Day of People With Disabilities logo

3rd December 2020

International Day of People with Disabilities is a United Nations gazetted global event on December 3rd celebrating the achievements of people with a disability.

This year, during the annual celebration of people with disabilities, the 2020 theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’ also focuses on spreading awareness and understanding of disabilities that are not immediately apparent, such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others.

International Day of People with Disabilities website: www.idpwd.org

Web links to official resources

We are pleased to be supporting a number of events in recognition of this day and encourage you to support them in their various events.


AIr New Zealand logo

Air New Zealand Disability Social Enterprise Christmas Market

Air New Zealand’s employee network, The Enable Network invites you to join a Christmas Market in the courtyard of our Fanshawe Street office on Thursday, 3 December 2020.  This market is in recognition and support of International Day of People with Disabilities.

The market will involve a number of social enterprises that are run by or employee people with disabilities. The market will include businesses such as The Cookie ProjectDownlightsDrink My Coffee and many more.

What: Christmas Market
When: Thursday 3rd December 2020, 12.30pm – 2.00pm
Where: Air New Zealand hub building, 185 Fanshawe Street, Auckland


Logos of Access Advisors, Access Matters - The Access Alliance, Accessibility Tick - Committed to Accessibility and Tech for Good NZ.

‘Hidden disabilities through a digital lens’ – webinar

Free 90 minute “lunch and learn” webinar event presented in partnership by Access Advisors, Access Alliance, Accessibility Tick, and Tech for Good. We’re delighted and excited to bring you an incredible line-up of speakers sharing their experience with hidden disabilities.

What: Free 90 minute ‘lunch & learn’ webinar
When: Thursday 3rd December 2020, 12.30pm – 2.00pm
Get your free ticket at Humanitix
Download event flyer PDF


Purple Lightup logo with byline Powered by PurpleSpace

Purple Light Up – 24hr global broadcast

#PurpleLightUp is a global movement that celebrates and draws attention to the economic contribution of the 386 million disabled employees around the world.

24-hour Global Broadcast, bringing together CEOs, senior champions, network / ERG leaders and disabled employees to connect, share their stories and feel the power of change via webinars, interviews, panel discussions and more. 

The Oceania region is kicking off this event from 11am to 2pm. After that follows 21 hours of international content as it works its way around the globe.

What: 24hr global online broadcast
When: Thursday 3rd December, 11am – 2pm (NZ time)
Continuing for 21 hrs after this with content from around the globe.

Register and find out more about the programme here.

Full programme and running order


Changing Places logo with byline Fully Accessible Public Bathrooms NZ

Changing Places Open Day

Changing Places are accessible public toilets that meet the needs of those unable to self-transfer without assistance. Changing Places NZ are pleased to invite you for a tour of their facility at Westfield Newmarket.

What: Changing Places Open Day
When: Thursday 3rd December 2020, 11am – 2.00pm
Where: Westfield Newmarket, Level 3, near the carpark.

Phone 021 141 9005 or email info@changingplaces.org.nz for more information.

Up to 2-hours free parking available with the Westfield Plus app.

Westfield logo

Paralympics Spirit of Gold

Paralympics Spirit of Gold Mufti Day

Parlalympics New Zealand will be staging a nationwide Spirit of Gold® Mufti Day, asking people to wear GOLD to work and donate to them. We’d love for you to take part on this official day, but you can run a Mufti Day at any point in your calendar.

Why not consider having a mufti day at work (or school) and taking a gold coin donation for them.

More information and a toolkit are available on their website.
Spirit of Gold Mufti Day

Thanks to the great team at Adecco for pointing this one out to us.

Monday Mythbusting on Disability Employment – How many do you know?

We are busting disability employment myths. People with accessibility needs are quite often discriminated against based on incorrect information. We are seeking to educate people about their true value, one myth a week.

Follow us on LinkedIn and/or Facebook to always see the latest myths when they are released.

If you are wanting help changing your organisations outlook, checkout our
Programme page for more information on the Accessibility Tick and how it helps organisations improve their disability inclusion.

Myth #1: Disabled people are too much of a health and safety risk

Fact: Employees with disabilities have less health and safety incidents than their peers.

“Disabled employees often have fewer health and safety issues than non-disabled workers. This is because in managing their impairment from the start, the employer and the employee will have developed strategies to address the health and safety risks. Whether your employee is disabled or not, your approach to health and safety should remain the same.” – Business.govt.nz

We believe it is even more than this. As people, those who have an accessibility need are managing risks daily, they become experts at it and they bring those expertise to the workplace. Many companies have reported better health and safety outcomes by having them onboard as they share their experience/expertise with the greater team.

Myth #2: Disabled people take too much sick leave

Fact: Employees with disabilities take less sick leave on average than their peers. One Australian study says 85% less.

Myth #3: Disabld people are less capable and do lower quality work

Fact: Surveys have found that 90% of disabled people rated average or better than their peers on job performance.

Myth #4: Disabled people don’t stay long enough in a job

Fact: NZ Statistics* show that disabled people are loyal, on average staying with employers over 50% longer than their peers.
*Stats NZ – Disability Employment Statistics

Myth 5: We don’t have anyone with a disability in our organisation

Fact: 24% of New Zealanders have a disability. 80% of those disabilities are hidden. Still think you don’t have anyone with a disability in your organisations?

Myth 6: It’s expensive to employ a person with a disability

Fact: Most disabled people do not require anything additional to do their job. When they do, there are support programmes and funding available.

Research has shown that the benefits of hiring disabled people outweigh any expenses, ultimately leading to a better bottom line.

Myth 7: People with a disability can only do basic unskilled jobs

Fact: People with a disability bring a range of skills, talents and abilities to the workplace. Many have tertiary and trade qualifications. They know their abilities and are unlikely to apply for jobs they can’t do.

Thumbs up to Powerco

Congratulations to Powerco, who have recently achieved the Accessibility Tick reflecting their focus and commitment to disability inclusion.

Emma Bennett, Group HR Manager says it’s confirmation Powerco is on the right track. “We’re committed to offering an equitable and accessible workplace for our team. We are firm believers that accessibility needs shouldn’t be a barrier to participation in the paid workforce. It’s up to organisations like ours to educate ourselves and do better.”

“We’ll continue to challenge our thinking and explore new ways to make Powerco a great place to work, for everyone,” she adds.

ATEN Vision for #VisionWeekNZ

Our vision for New Zealand to become the most accessible and disability inclusive country in the world.

The Accessibility Tick Employers’ Network is made up of 27 of New Zealand’s leading organisations committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities, chronic health conditions and facing mental health crises.

We have a vision of New Zealand becoming the most accessible and disability inclusive country in the world.

To achieve this, we need to inspire change.

  • We recognise and advocate that supporting a person with a disability is more than just getting them a job. It is empowering them to have a meaningful career.
  • If you want organisations to change their behaviours you to need to show them how the changes are beneficial, then support them to lead the changes themselves.
  • Practical programmes like the Accessibility Tick are essential to supporting organisation transformation.

We hope this video encourages people to think about accessibility and ask the same questions we did when creating our vision.

  • What could be done?
  • What should be done?
  • What must be done?

Members of the Accessibility Tick and its Employers’ Network are:

ACC, Adecco, Air New Zealand, ASB Bank, Auckland District Health Board, Blind and Low Vision NZ, Counties Manukau District Health Board, Fidelity Life Assurance Company, Hind Management (Sudima Hotels and Novotel Christchurch Airport), Jacobs, MATTR, Meridian Energy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development (Bay of Plenty), nib NZ, Powerco, Quentosity, Ricoh, Scentre Group, SkyCity Entertainment Group, Taikura Trust, The Warehouse Group, Toyota New Zealand, Vector, Waitemata District Health Board, and Westpac.