Is My Workplace Inclusive and Accessible?

The state government of Western Australia, like the Province of Ontario, is making a point of encouraging employers to hire people with disabilities. Its Count Me In strategy was launched in 2009, with an aim for “all people to live in welcoming communities that facilitate citizenship, friendship, mutual support and a fair go for everyone.”

This is how Western Australia’s Disability Services Commission describes an inclusive workplace:

· There is a welcoming workplace culture where everyone is treated with respect and dignity and everyone feels valued.

· Policies are in place concerning equality and human rights, working conditions, dignity at work, employee welfare and fair recruitment and procurement practices.

· Members of staff at all levels are aware of the inclusive values of the organisation and are actively consulted and involved in policy development.

· The workforce is representative of the local community or customers (or, if not, underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply).

· All employees are encouraged to develop and progress, and any barriers faced by specific groups are identified and action taken to address them.

· Unnecessary hierarchies and occupational segregation, where groups of employees are congregated into certain areas, are discouraged.

· Inclusive strategies are fully supported and promoted by senior staff.