For employers

Community Attitudes is one of the outcome areas of Queensland’s Disability Plan. A policy priority for the outcome area is that employers value the contribution people with disability make to the workforce, and recognise the benefits of employing people with disability.

We are creating resources for employers to value the contribution that people with disability make to the workforce and recognise the benefits of employing people with disability.

You can find out more about what the Queensland Government is doing in the Community Attitudes outcome area at our outcomes.

Benefits of disability inclusion in employment

We want to promote the benefits of inclusive employment. We have made videos about people with disability and their colleagues in different workplaces sharing their stories. They tell us about themselves and their experiences, as well as tips for businesses to be inclusive employers.

People with disability

Watch their stories:


Watch their stories:

Creating an inclusive and accessible workplace

The tips below highlight ways to increase employment opportunities for people with disability in your workplace:

  • Develop a disability action plan or inclusion plan to identify opportunities to employ people with disability, improve accessibility and remove barriers in your workplace and for your customers. Access resources to make your own plan and Fact sheet 5: Disability action plans and legislation (DOCX, 183 KB).
  • Develop a Human Resources (HR) strategy that addresses the needs of a range of potential employees and is championed at all levels. Visit the QCOSS website for more information on developing a HR Strategy.
  • Consider organisational membership with the Australian Network on Disability (AND) and adopt their Employment Charter for the Employment of People with Disability. AND is a not-for-profit organisation resourced by its members to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business. AND helps its members and clients to welcome people with disability as employees, customers, and suppliers. Visit the AND website.
  • Encourage all staff to become disability aware. This will help when employing people and providing great customer service to people with disability. Increase staff awareness of the accessibility features of your workplace, such as the locations of accessible parking and toilets, ramp/lift access, or workplace adjustments that can be made. Access resources on Disability Awareness Training and improving inclusiveness in the workplace.
  • Ensure your website provides information in multiple formats. On your website, include your disability action plan or disability inclusion plan as well as stories of people with disability who are working for you and a statement about how your company is working towards creating a more inclusive and accessible workplace. Ensure your company’s website complies with contemporary accessibility guidelines.

Inclusive recruitment

  • Adjust your recruitment processes to enable flexibility such as alternative methods of answering selection criteria, and alternatives to traditional interview techniques.
  • Explore information about how to attract diverse candidates:
  • Check the job description before advertising a position. Does it reflect the essential requirements of the role? Or is there flexibility in some of the requirements for a person with disability to fill it successfully?
  • Consider including one or more of the following statements in any advertising material:
    • We are committed to ensuring our organisation reflects the diversity of the community and welcome applications from Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people, people of all ages, people with neurodiversity, people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people from the LGBTIQ+ community.
    • We are an equal opportunities employer who will provide reasonable adjustments for people with neurodiversity and people with disability. You are welcome to contact us to discuss any additional support you need from application onwards.
  • When advertising the position online, ensure the advertisement is available in accessible formats. For example, Word or RTF as well as PDF versions, so it can be read by people using text-to-audio software.
  • Advertise vacant roles through Disability Employment Service providers. These can be found at Disability Employment Services.

Workplace adjustments

  • Many people with disability may need few adjustments, and many adjustments are simple and inexpensive. Everyone is different; the most important thing is to ask the person. Common types of adjustments include:
    • flexibility in working hours, such as working part-time or starting and finishing later allowing work from home, or another location, one or more days per week
    • moving furniture, widening a doorway, or providing a ramp
    • redistributing some minor duties
    • purchasing or modifying equipment, such as text-to-audio software for someone with vision impairment, an amplified phone for a person who is hard of hearing, or a digital recorder for someone who ­needs it difficult to take written notes.
  • If equipment or physical changes are required, funding of up to $30,000 may be available. Visit funding for workplace changes for more information. 

Commencing work

Keep these tips in mind when a person with disability is commencing work:

  • Encourage co-workers and managers to become more disability aware with free online awareness training.
  • As with all new employees, introduce the new person to co-workers and make them feel welcome.
  • Information about a person’s disability is confidential. Ask them what, if anything, they would like others in the workplace to know about them and their capabilities at work.
  • Through the usual on-boarding process, ensure the new starter has the information they need about the organisation and what is expected of them.
  • Consider the individual’s prior experience. Some people with neurodiversity or disability may have only ever been self-employed. If they have never worked for an employer before, take the time to explain aspects of the workplace others take for granted, such as timesheets, performance management, how to escalate an issue, and what they can and cannot ask for.
  • As with all new starters, it may be helpful to assign a ‘buddy’ or mentor who they can meet with regularly, ask questions and explain the many unwritten rules of ‘how we do things around here’.
  • Provide information about the workplace, including about workplace culture.
  • Designate a single dedicated contact person for the onboarding process.
  • Create opportunities for your employee to provide feedback and have regular check-ins.

Development and career progression

  • Ensure you have a process for discussing improvements in the workplace within your exit interview.
  • Consult with people with disability to improve training provided by the department to ensure that this is accessible for people with disability.
  • Identify and champion leadership mentors to support people with aspirations for leadership roles.
  • Schedule time with employees with disability.
  • Take steps to understand your workforce diversity and organisational profile. Involve employees with disability in identifying ways to build a culture of inclusion where employees feel supported to share information about their disability if they wish to do so.
  • Ensure any internally run development and career progression opportunities are accessible for people with disability.

Ongoing considerations

  • Ensure all social activities are inclusive and accessible.
  • As with all employees:
    • Ensure they are supported to do their job and development opportunities are equitable.
    • Check-in from time-to-time to ask whether their needs are being met or if their circumstances have changed and adjustments are required.
    • Ask what they need to function at their best and form relationships, so these discussions are easier and more likely to happen.
    • Value and support their perspectives and perhaps they can assist you to tap into new markets, customers, and clients.
  • Explore options to make your workplace accessible and inclusive for all – software such as JAWS, tactile tape, and ensuring you have an accessible building, including an accessible bathroom and workstations.
  • Consider an access audit of your workplace to identify areas for change.
  • JobAccess, created by the Australian Government, is the national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers, and service providers. It includes tools, resources, and financial assistance to support workplaces in the employment of people with disability.

More information