Disability Action Strategy 2011-15

ISBN 978-1-921612-98-5 (PDF document)

ISBN 978-1-921612-99-2 (Booklet)

ISBN 978-1-74322-007-8 (Web document)

Secretary’s Foreword

I am pleased to present the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (the Department) 2011-2015 Disability Action Strategy (DAS).

The DAS sets out the Department’s commitment and approach to the employment of people with disability. It has been developed through extensive consultation internally, as well as with the Australian Network on Disability and the Australian Public Service Commission.

One of the key messages of the DAS is the need for leaders in our workplace to foster a diverse, inclusive and supportive workplace culture for people with disability.

As a Department, we have become more aware and committed to the many ways in which we can provide equal employment opportunities for people with disability. It is important that we play an active role in effecting their participation in our workforce and to ensuring they have access to our programs and services.

I thank the Disability Working Group which has contributed to the development of the DAS and encourage all staff to work together to achieve improved employment outcomes for people with disability.

Dennis Richardson
Secretary

Vision

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) aims to be an Australian Public Service leader in bringing about an inclusive Australian society. To achieve this vision, the Department encourages the participation and contribution of people with disability to inform DFAT policies and will work together with stakeholders to make DFAT not just an employer of choice for employees with disability, but a model employer in the Australian Public Service.

Purpose

The purpose of the Disability Action Strategy 2011-15 is to outline the actions that will develop and foster a disability-friendly workplace culture within the Department. It draws upon the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (NDS) that was launched by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on 13 February 2011; the Australian Public Service Commission toolkit, Ability at Work: Tapping the Talent of People with Disability and the 2009 National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy published by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. It is informed by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the MAC6 Report Employment of People with Disability in the APS.

DFAT is determined to be a leader in this field, and to utilise its unique presence in over 70 countries to enshrine the principles of a ‘fair go’ for all people with disability. Underpinning these strategies and actions will be a concerted effort to maximise to the greatest extent possible, the number of employees with disability, not just in the headquarters of DFAT in Canberra, but in our State, Territory and Passport Offices and overseas missions and posts.

In choosing a four-year plan the Department has identified 2015 as an appropriate mid-point in the life of the NDS to review and assess the Department’s contribution to the achievement of the NDS goals. This will enable the Department to take stock of what has and has not worked in its disability strategy, so that a further five-year strategy can be developed through to 2020.

The DAS has been developed through extensive consultation, including with the Department’s Workplace Relations Committee, as well as key external clients both within and outside the Australian Public Service.

Strategies

The Department’s commitment to employing people with disability is demonstrated in five key strategies. These are:

  • Promote a workplace culture that is inclusive of diversity, understands the needs of employees with disability and values their contribution;
  • Recruit and retain a diverse workforce inclusive of people with disability;
  • Ensure people with disability have access to DFAT premises;
  • Develop training and development opportunities that enable employees with disability to maximise their skills and their contributions in the workplace; and
  • Ensure that sources of departmental information are accessible for people with disability, (e.g. disability-friendly web site).

The actions to achieve these strategies over the next four years are set out in the attached Disability Action Plan which links our strategies to targeted actions, timeframes, reportable performance measures and responsible line areas. The Departmental Executive will review progress against these performance measures annually. The Strategy and Action Plan will be made available on DFAT’s website and registered with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

1. Promote a workplace culture that is inclusive of diversity, understands the needs of employees with disability and values their contribution.

Action Performance Measure Primary Responsibility Timeline

Raise awareness levels on benefits workplace diversity through information resources and outreach activities

DFAT’s culture reflects and embraces workplace diversity (reported in APSC State of the Service Report and DFAT Staff Survey)

Workplace Diversity Unit

Ongoing

Ensure all staff are aware of the DAS

Level of awareness of DAS in DFAT staff surveys

Workplace Diversity Unit

June 2011

Principles of reasonable adjustment are advised to employees and applied in the workplace

Managers are aware of and apply the principles of reasonable adjustment for employees with disability (reported by employees in DFAT Staff Survey)

Workplace Diversity Unit

Ongoing

Include Disability Employee representative on Workplace Relations Committee (WRC)

Disability Employee Representative included on WRC

Management Strategy, Conduct and Diversity Section

June 2011

Include disability employment actions and statistics in Annual Reports

Publication in Annual Reports

Workplace Diversity Unit

Staffing Branch

Annual

Develop and implement Disability Awareness Training Modules

Implementation of Disability Awareness Training Modules

Workplace Diversity Unit

Ongoing

Foster a workplace that provides a safe environment for people to disclose their disability through information available on disclosure on DFAT’s careers internet page and intranet

Number of people disclosing disability

Workplace Diversity Unit

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

2. Recruit and retain a diverse workforce, inclusive of people with disability.
Action Performance Measure Primary Responsibility Timeline

All job advertisements to encourage people with disability to apply

All recruitment advertising reflects inclusive disability employment opportunities in DFAT

Number of people with disability applying for advertised jobs

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

All recruitment processes to include reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments incorporated into recruitment processes.

Recruitment teams aware of Reasonable Adjustment Policy

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

Recruitment information to be made available in disability-friendly formats

Measure level of satisfaction with departmental recruitment information among disability job seekers

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

Access APS-wide Disability Employment Programs, JobAccess and supported wage funding

Employees who need support, receive it

Workplace Diversity Unit

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

Utilise Public Service Commissioner’s Special Measures to recruit people with disability

Number of instances where special measures utilised

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

Establish internal Disability Employees Network (DEN)

DEN contributes to promotion of diversity in DFAT and to development of policies that assist in the recruitment and retention of people with disability.

Workplace Diversity Unit

Disability Employment Network

August 2011

Appoint senior managers to champion the inclusion of people with disability

Announcement of Disability Champions

Engagement of Disability Champions through interaction with Workplace Diversity Unit and disability related events

Workplace Diversity Unit

April 2011

Explore options to provide internships and cadetships for people with disability

Development of internship/cadetship schemes

Workplace Diversity Unit

November 2011

Provide reasonable adjustment information on departmental intranet

Information available on intranet

Staff awareness of where to access information on Reasonable Adjustments

Workplace Diversity Unit

October 2011

3. Ensure people with disability have access to DFAT premises.
Action Performance Measure Primary Responsibility Timeline

Develop a Premises Accessibility framework for use when negotiating all leases, purchasing of property and/or coordinating refurbishments in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Australian Building Codes

Incorporation of framework into lease negotiations, property purchases and refurbishments

Accessibility of Premises

Overseas Property Office

Senior Administrative Officers

Ongoing

OH&S, emergency evacuation and safety procedures to incorporate strategies for dealing with people with disability

Annual review to confirm procedures incorporate strategies for dealing with people with disability

Staff awareness of procedures

Overseas Property Office

Fire Wardens

First Aid Officers

OH&S officers

Senior Administrative Officers

Every October

4. Develop training and development opportunities that enable employees with disability to maximise their skills and experiences in the workplace.
Action Performance Measure Primary Responsibility Timeline

Engage external consultant to assist identifying training and development opportunities for employees with disability

Level of satisfaction among employees with disability regarding training and development opportunities

Workplace Diversity Unit

Staffing Branch

Ongoing

Managers of employees with disability to develop annual skills /training plan as part of performance management system

Annual skills/training plans

Managers and employees

Ongoing- annually in March-May

Encourage mentoring for employees with disability

Each employee with disability has taken up offer of a mentor

Disability Employees Network

Ongoing- annually in March-May

5. Ensure sources of departmental information are accessible and adjusted for people with disability.
Action Performance Measure Primary Responsibility Timeline

Review and improve online information to help people with disability access DFAT services and information

Online services comply with Government Online accessibility requirements

Staff awareness of information available

Information Management Division

Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division

Australian Passports Office

Ongoing

Develop guidelines to help the Departmental switchboard and Consular Emergency Centre respond to enquiries from people with disability accessing our services and staff for assistance

Feedback regarding the disability-friendly service provided by the switchboard and Consular Emergency Centre

Workplace Diversity Unit

December 2011

Creative Commons

Notwithstanding the general copyright licence provided for on www.dfat.gov.au, and with the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and where otherwise noted, all material presented in this document is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.

The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU licence.

The report should be attributed as the Disability Action Strategy 2011-15.

Use of the Coat of Arms

The terms under which the Coat of Arms can be used are detailed on the It's an Honour website.

Contact us

Inquiries regarding the licence and any use of the report are welcome at:

  • Email: workplacediversity@dfat.gov.au
  • Mail:
    Executive Officer, Workplace Diversity
    Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    R.G. Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    Barton ACT 0221