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Disabled Employment New Zealand

Many highly capable New Zealanders could be part of the workforce if barriers to their employment were removed. 74% of disabled people want to work. This website will help remove barriers.

Information to help break down barriers to employment for employers and disabled people wanting to enter the workforce. Disabled people are less likely to be employed than the general population or other minorities. Employment for disabled people is often limited by opportunity and employers attitudes rather than disability.

 

Why hire disabled people?

Disabled Employment

Disabled Employment, hiring disabled people, helping people with disabilities to become self- employed, advice on hiring staff with disability in employment, Disabled home office work, all options should be open, employment for disabled people should not have high barriers when most of the time they are not needed, mention the word 'disabled' or 'impairment' and many employers put up barriers, they immediately think 'expensive' or 'too hard, but for so many potential employees, that 'disability' or 'impairment' is barely noticeable.

Why hire disabled people?

There are already many disabled people successfully employed across the New Zealand workforce, including in eg professional, managerial, administration, service, technical and 'manual' roles. Disabled people are sometimes not hired because of perception, fear, myth and prejudice eg accommodating a person with a disability is too expensive.

  • Many companies have found that by employing disabled people, they are better able to understand and serve their disabled customers.
  • Adapting services to cater for the diverse needs of disabled people allows business to develop greater flexibility, builds reputations and reaches out to a sizeable market. Most disabled employees don't need specific adjustments or accomodations.
  • In living their everyday lives many disabled people have learnt adaptability and problem solving skills that are readily transferable to the workplace.
  • Disabled people are as productive and as reliable as any other employees.
  • Disabled people tend to have better attendance records, stay longer and have fewer accidents.
  • If an organisation is a good employer of disabled people it promotes good morale among staff and is good for its reputation.

Application form

When developing an application form, make sure that the information gathered determines whether the person can perform the job essentials and that the application form is available in alternative formats.

Inclusive job descriptions and assessment

  • Don’t be too specific about how a task should be completed, focus on the 'what' not the 'how'.
  • Criteria should be ranked in order of importance from essential to minor. Minor tasks could be reassigned to another person.

Examples

  • Some small wording change could produce the same result but result in a wider of pool of people being available – instead of using 'minimum typing speed' consider using 'produce quality documents using word processing software.'
  • For example, making coffee may be an additional task required of a receptionist job rather than an essential task.