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  • Appendix 9: Access and inclusion

    From 1994, Australian Government departments and agencies reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy.

    In 2007-08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission's State of the service report and the Australian Public Service statistical bulletin (available at From 2010-11, departments and agencies were no longer required to report on these functions.

    A new National Disability Strategy superseded the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. The new strategy sets out a 10-year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

    The Standing Council on Community, Housing and Disability Services will produce a high level report to track progress for people with disability at a national level. The report, prepared for the Council of Australian Governments, will be available at

    In December 2009 the government agreed to a social inclusion measurement and reporting strategy. The strategy will include some reporting on disability matters in its regular How Australia is faring report. Where appropriate, agencies will also report on strategic change indicators in their annual reports. For more information on social inclusion matters visit  

    Tables 7.22 to 7.25. show our performance against our access-and-inclusion plan, including our role as a regulator, purchaser, provider of services and employer. They show we are performing well against the requirements of the government's National Disability Strategy.

    TABLE 7.22: Access-and-inclusion plan - our role as regulator



    All of our publicly available information is accessible for people with disability.

    We produce a range of information in accessible formats for people with disability. We are now into the third year of the Tax Help program delivered in association with Vision Australia.

    We produced an online and DVD presentation, Tax in Australia - what you need to know, with basic information on the tax system in Auslan language for the deaf community. Taxpayers have the option to use Auslan interpreters, teletypewriter and National Relay Service assistance to access tax advice and assistance.

    We promote these products and services through our monthly segment on Radio for the Print Handicapped, direct mail-outs to intermediaries during tax time and newsletters of disability intermediaries, including Vision Australia, the Royal Society for the Blind, deaf societies and Centrelink's Pulse.

    People with disability are included in our consultative forums and advisory groups

    We hold an annual forum with representation from key disability organisations including Vision Australia, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations and Blind Citizens of Australia.

    TABLE 7.23: Access-and-inclusion plan - our role as purchaser



    Adoption of an accessible procurement policy.

    Our purchasing specifications and contracts require full compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. A principle focused on accessibility is incorporated in tender documents.

    TABLE 7.24: Access-and-inclusion plan - our role as provider of services



    Information on our website and portals is accessible to people with disability.

    Our website and portal meet the accessibility requirements of the government's online strategy.

    We also provide specific tax information relevant to people with disabilities and their carers.

    People with disability have equal access to our offices.

    Our shopfronts and client contact are accessible to people with disability, including the services we provide through Centrelink offices.

    TABLE 7.25: Access-and-inclusion plan - our role as employer



    A culture that values diversity and actively promotes the employment of people with disability.

    Our diversity council, which includes senior executives, provides a strategic focus for our diversity objectives.

    We seek input from our employees with disability through the national disability network, the New South Wales deaf tax officer network and the network of adaptive technology users.

    Flexible recruitment strategies accessible to applicants with disability.

    Our recruitment information is accessible and available in appropriate formats to prospective employees with disability. This year we reviewed the support we provide to all participants in selection processes to ensure we make appropriate reasonable adjustments for people with disability.

    Our corporate employment programs focus on attracting and retaining people with disability and working independently with organisations that specialise in placing people with a disability in employment.

    Accessible training, cadetship and mentoring opportunities for people with disability.

    Examples include pathways to employment through training and development schemes the stepping-into program, and our school-to-work sponsorship program.

    Special employment measures to employ people with intellectual disability.

    This year we took no specific recruitment strategies in relation to employment of people with intellectual disability.

    Learning and professional development programs consider the needs of staff with disability.

    We will continue to ensure staff have equal access to training and development opportunities regardless of any disability or impairment, within the principles of reasonable adjustment.

    Accessible premises, workplaces and supportive work environments for people with disability.

    This year we centralised our approach to managing access to disability car spaces across the office. We continue to improve efficiency in the availability of corporate documents and building adjustments.

    Reduced complexity, cost and risk for managers employing people with disability.

    Demand for centrally-funded reasonable adjustments for employees with disability increased this year, reducing the complexity for managers and increasing participation in the workplace for employees with disability. We established processes to ensure we provide successful job applicants with reasonable adjustment when they start working with us.

    Consistent conceptual framework for defining disability.

    We apply the disability definition of the Management Advisory Committee 'Employment of People with Disability in the APS'.

    Continuous improvement in recruiting and retaining people with disability.

    We actively collaborate across the Australian Public Service on recruitment, retention and development of people with disability in our organisation and across the public service.

      Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036