Disability employment targets promise real opportunities for people with a disability
Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have announced targets to increase the employment of people with a disability in the public sector.
The three state governments have separately released participation plans for people with disability.
Victoria has announced a public service disability employment target of 6 per cent by 2020 (increasing to 12 per cent by 2025), Queensland has set a target of 8 per cent by 2022, and New South Wales is aiming for 5.6 per cent by 2027.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO Carla Northam applauds the state governments for showing leadership and encourages the Australian Government to implement a target of 7 per cent by 2023.
“Access to meaningful employment free from discrimination is a fundamental human right for all Australians,” Ms Northam said.
“People with disability have a range of skills, capabilities and interests to bring to the workforce. Setting specific measureable targets and establishing a plan to meet them is an effective way to improve disability inclusion in the workplace; improving accountability and transparency.”
On 12 February 2018, Vision 2020 Australia held a Parliamentary Friends Group event at Parliament House on employment, disability and inclusive workplaces.
More than 50 parliamentarians, Vision 2020 Australia members and eye health and vision care professionals attended. The event aimed to draw attention to the recommendations of our position statement on meaningful employment for people with disability in the Australian Public Service (APS).
Nearly one in seven working aged Australians (16-64 years) are living with a disability with a workforce participation rate of just 53.4 per cent, compared to 83.2 per cent for the remainder of the population.
While the APS is a major employer across Australia, there has been a consistent decline in the inclusion of people who identify as having a disability in the APS workforce.
Meeting the 7 per cent target will move the APS beyond where they were more than 30 years ago in 1986 at 6.6 per cent and will double APS inclusion efforts from 3.74 per cent of people who identify as having a disability employed in 2016.
While the Victorian, News South Wales and Queensland targets are positive, Ms Northam said it was important that these announcements were followed up with real action.
The Vision 2020 Australia position statement on meaningful employment calls on the Australian Government to demonstrate their commitment to diversity by implementing a package of measures.
Contact information: Amy Johnston at Vision 2020 Australia
03 9656 2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vision 2020 Australia is part of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, an initiative of the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
Vision 2020 Australia's role is to ensure that eye health and vision care remains high on the health, disability and international development agendas of Australian governments. This will ensure that Australia fulfils its commitments under the World Health Assembly resolutions and World Health Organization's Universal eye health: a global action plan 2014-2019.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: First Results, 2015, available at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4430.0.10.001