Did you know that in Australia 48% of working age (aged 15-64) people with disability are employed compared with 80% of people without disability? The inequality of these statistics is even more shocking when compared to studies that prove the strong benefits of hiring people with disability, from more loyal employees and customers to a richer pool of talent, to greater product designs, the list goes on. So when thinking beyond the future of work improving employment participation rates for people with disabilities in today’s labor force is a critical global issue. Another particularly critical part of this issue is that while the world redefines a “new normal” we’re presented with an opportunity to collaborate with disability-led innovators to help transform the workforce and in turn, pave the way for a more inclusive society.
This is part of Remarkable Insights Series. There is significant opportunity to leverage technological innovation to drive an inclusive future. But who is left behind as technology transforms the society around us. How might we use Remarkable Insights to create an inclusive now?
- Sue Boyce, CEO, Ability Works Australia (Victoria, Australia)
- Regina “Gina” Kline, Founder and CEO, SmartJob (Washington, DC, United States)
- Dwayne Fernandes, Co-Founder Minds at Play & Diversity and Inclusion Partner (New South Wales, Australia)
- Pete Horsley, Founder, Remarkable Technology Accelerator (Sydney, New South Wales)
The views expressed are solely those of the contributors.
Definitions of some of the terms that are mentioned throughout the conversation:
- AI – Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.
- NDIS – The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a scheme of the Australian Government that funds costs associated with disability. The scheme was legislated in 2013 and went into full operation in 2020
Pete [00:04]: Welcome to our next remarkable insights beyond the future of work. My name is Pete Horsley. I’m the founder of remarkable we’re the startup venture arm of Cerebral Palsy Alliance it’s so good to have you with us today. Remarkable as I said is a division of Cerebral Palsy Alliance and we have the backing of a number of partners icare, Telstra, Vivcourt and Microsoft. Remarkable is really the place where technology meets human potential and we do this mainly through our 14-week accelerator program for early-stage startups equipping them with seed funding the knowledge the skills the networks to be able to grow and commercialise their technology I want to begin also by acknowledging the traditional owners owners of the land i’m on Gadigal land and this is their land it was never seeded and it’s always sacred I pay my respects to elders past present and emerging and I acknowledged that we have people joining from many other places both here in Australia and around the world and i’ve paid my respect to the traditional owners in those places too i’ll also acknowledge the disability advocates who have come before us in advancing the rights of people with disability they’ve paved the way for us and we carry both a privilege and a responsibility because of the work that they have done and the only way to really think and create the inclusive now is to do so collectively together with them
Pete [01:43]: So today’s event beyond the future of work is part of remarkable insights it’s a series of webinars exploring the question of who’s left behind as technology transforms the society around us we know there’s a significant opportunity to leverage technological innovation to drive an inclusive future and so remarkable ask the questions how might we create an inclusive now so for anyone who wants to join the conversation on socials please use on twitter facebook and Linkedin our handle is @remarkabletech and on instagram at remarkable underscore tech and if you could also please use the the hashtag remarkable insights as well this event has live captioning by otter AI and also we have hopefully an auslan interpreter joining us very very soon we’ll be recording this event and it will be made available to post events on our remarkable tech youtube channel and be sure to subscribe to subscribe to that today we are joined by Gina Kline founder and ceo of smart job, Sue Boyce CEO of abilityworks Australia and Dwayne Fernandes co-founder of minds at play and disability inclusion part now it’s so good to have you all here welcome and it’s so good to have all the people who are joining us on this webinar as well and for those who will watch it afterwards so we’ve all seen statistics around labor force participation rates for people with disabilities they’re low or possibly they’re very light here comes jerry our auslan interpreter so Gerry Shearim thank you for joining us it’s so good to have you here if you’d like to pin jerry’s video on there for those who do require auslan that would be great welcome jerry we’ve all seen the the statistics around low labor force participation rates for people with disability and depending on what part of your world that you’re living in that is either low or incredibly low and it doesn’t just impact income and economic security but it also impacts other areas of of life like well-being housing and people’s place in the community so Gina I might start with you talking about closing the disability wealth gap. Why have you focused on this kind of core area of focus for your impact investment fund?
Gina [04:36]: Thank you Pete and any opportunity to speak with you Pete I’m always there this is so much so exciting with such lovely panelists so thanks for my inclusion so answering your question live from Washington DC area here in America why do I want to focus on the closing the disability wealth gap as we all do because people with disabilities globally are the most conspicuously unemployed group of people on earth that’s why we’re dealing with statistics that are dramatic and have remained so for quite some time there are nearly two-thirds of working-age people with disabilities around the globe that are not in the labor market. let’s just think about that for a moment we’re talking when we’re speaking about disability we’re speaking about an innate characteristic of the human experience if you don’t have a disability today you might age into a disability tomorrow and statistically, we’re talking about 20 you know 20 of people on earth with some relationship disability at this point in time so if the question should be rephrased Pete Horsley why are we not focusing more on closing the disability wealth gap because the ramifications are global they have to do with a multi-trillion-dollar hole in the global GDP and in the economy, civil societies around the globe are spending billions of dollars of public expenditure on medical models of disability and supervision caregiving and support but the whole that is in the economy is about talent and there are people that are out that should be in and that’s our investment thesis at Smartjob.
Pete [6:32] I always say who are the people that we’re not hearing from that can help help solve some of the big challenges that we’ve got we’re obviously all living through a global pandemic right now where we’re kind of subject to climate change and some of the impacts around that there are so many challenges that if we’re not collectively hearing all the voices around us then we’re actually losing out on on seeing innovative solutions come there’s talk of a growing number of organisations starting to wake up to that opportunity around this kind of neglected talent pool and also as a way of being just surely more representative of their own customer base because people with disability make up 20% of the population and also as this kind of source of innovative thinking as well Dwayne are you seeing a greater openness around diversity and inclusion in policy and practice and then at a high level you’ve been involved in kind of policy and practice change so what’s actually changing to shift workplaces to be more inclusive for people with disability?
Dwayne [07:46] So generally speaking I think as a society we’re still at a foundational level and there are people over here that have been actively doing this since 1963. you’ll meet her later she’s in this panel and and in this space what we’re noticing is that how can we still be at a foundational level after all those years now some organisations are far ahead of others but overall I don’t think we’ve gone anywhere that with being super super inclusive what I did experience quite recently that really changed the way the the way it worked through is that where I am right now in department of planning and industry environment DPIE they are working on accessible policies for national parks they have created a workplace adjustments passport so you come in and you tell them you need a few things and you literally fill out a form and I got my entire my minor adjustment and my major adjustment in a span of three hours for like that’s unheard of like there’s a there’ll be an article about that somewhere that’ll pop up but but that’s unheard of but the fact that that is unheard of is a problem why isn’t that not a standard why is it the personalisation I need to do my day job not something that everybody gets and if you think about it it’s not about inclusion it’s personalisation and I use an iPhone or whatever technology but i’m quite sure the apps on my phone are different to where your apps are that’s personalisation in the same way you do work you don’t need to all do it the same way we’re still moving away from that role description model of how we do things to actually how focusing on the outcomes back to you Pete.
Pete [09:46] That’s amazing and and I love that kind of thought around yeah what we’re talking about here is is personalisation it’s what do we need to do to do our best work and we want all of our staff all of our leaders to to be in that same position as well globally there’s there’s big shifts in workforce needs as well as we embrace kind of more technology and as labor shifts away from kind of manual repetitive tasks to perhaps higher order thinking creativity and they’ve even talked about resilience is kind of one of these the newly needed skills in in work and while this might be good for some people within our disability community they innately come with some of those skills alarm bells could be ringing for those that work closely with people with intellectual disability and so you’ve looked at this shift in technology differently you’ve you’ve been able to show how technical technological transformation can actually if it’s done in an inclusive way actually offer people with disabilities better access to the job market i’d love to for you to explain some of those the the situations that you’re working in right now?
Sue [11:02] so i’ll give you a specific example we have a light engineering facility where we do wire metal fabrication and we manufacture products for building and construction and we trialled Microsoft HoloLens headsets using augmented reality to for one of our manufacturing machines and so what we did was we the headsets will take someone who has to work the machine from start to finish and take them through the whole process but in addition to that we we used programmers who were experts in gaming technology so it was also a bit of fun because the work is quite repetitive and so the combination of you know showing them so anybody who had who has problems with sequencing you know remembering what comes next or just remembering the entirety of the task the HoloLens will just you know help them through that and you know smiley faces pop up and trees are growing when you get something right and so it’s just very motivating as well and that’s how we’ve been able to get people who wouldn’t normally be able to do a particular task to do something that’s more challenging for them.
Pete [12:26] I love that and I think you know they talk about that AI isn’t actually replacing jobs it’s a person plus AI is actually going to be the thing that wins and I love what you’re doing in that space Dwayne you’re a multiple record holder as a double amputee stair climber and much like climbing towers most of the time all the effort seems to be put in by the applicant with disability to ask for those adjustments that they need what should we be doing differently?
Dwayne [13:02] all right so and i’ll get to that probably a little bit later on but I suspect what we need to do is take it away from from the individual saying I can do the following things and go at it usually the job that is not built for them if you look at your strengths and apply to those strengths you should apply for things that work for you right now because if society overall is at this foundational standing lean into your strengths and apply for things that are your strengths in that distributed space I know that’s not great but from an organisational perspective you need to do a cosplay of analysis going which types of disability can you hire into your job that actually adds a low financial cost to maintain now when I talk about that now I know that’s a touchy area over here effectively if you’re thinking about something like this bus driver person who’s blind doesn’t make sense right but amputee in a bus driver yeah sure it’s a simple adjustments and it’s about taking it away from rather than us going at it from an individual perspective we need to come at it like a large societal perspective find a spot that works for everybody being that we’re at the foundational level still and it’s not the greatest news but I think that’s the step we need to take now so that the next level afterwards is going well why did we stop people from this community applying to this job what was the stupid investment decision I made that prevented this much population from applying for this job or able to service this percentage let’s take it that way society because we’re in that societal model of disability not the medical model thank you
Pete [14:54] That’s great Dwayne as I said it’s okay if our panelists do disagree we don’t mind that it can sometimes make for more interesting viewing so if anyone does want to disagree with Dwayne that’s okay as well? There was a report released by ILO in 2019 that outlined five key objectives for inclusion of people with disability in the future of work and they they included number one new forms of employer employment and employment relations to integrate disability inclusion number two skills development for lifelong learning made inclusive of persons with disability number three universal design embedded in development of all new infrastructure products services number four assistive technologies existing and newly developed to make affordable to be made affordable and available and number five measures to include persons with disabilities in growing and developing areas of the economy gina I’ve spoken to you a number of times and I can hear lots of parallels between that report and what you’re doing and I know you travel to kind of almost every state in the us when you’re you’re an American civil rights lawyer particularly looking at at what’s working in disability service I’m interested in in hearing your opinion on what’s what’s both the burning platform and also the opportunity we’ve got right now starting to emerge hopefully from a global pandemic
Gina [16:32] well you’re still on youtube excuse me thank you Pete for such a lovely question so and a loaded a loaded question I see you’re wanting me to you want me to disagree with Dwayne maybe i’ll start to disagree with myself as I get the answer you know I did travel through a number of states in the united states as a civil rights lawyer and I think that it it informed me about where where workers with disabilities are in the American economy but also in the global marketplace there’s a long history of discrimination against people with disabilities not only in the united states but in the world and part of that principally amounted to exclusion from discriminatory exclusion from the workplace there’s been a long and storied civil rights movement that precedes our conversations tonight with so many people that have advanced and vindicated the rights of people with disabilities to be treated equally to be included in workplaces and they’ve done so with the suggestion that people should not be given different opportunities disparity in pay disparity and advancement and opportunity on the basis of disability alone but now you you mentioned a loaded term the the burning platform which suggests that we’re caught between a rock and a hard place so to speak that the platform is on fire do we stay or do we dive in and do something differently because there we have to change up what we’re doing and what does that mean why did you ask me that question well we’ve had a long history of civil rights but we haven’t had a corresponding or concomitant increase in labor market participation as a result of the civil rights advancements we’re in the middle of the civil rights movement globally for people with disabilities to be treated equally and work but let’s pause for just a moment and ask ourselves whether we should be focused exclusively on the attributes of the worker or whether we should change our lens and be looking about set about to look at how we work the ways that we work and whether we should invest in new and different ways of approaching work and we spent the last century of both philanthropy and governmental enterprises focusing on increasing the attributes of the worker changing the attributes of the worker and modifying existing workplaces there’s a whole new generation of innovators that are calling for work to be fundamentally changed and they’re not they’re not alone in that movement we’ve just said about in the middle of a pandemic which taught us all that people can work excessively adaptively sustainably remotely and in a distributed workforce from wherever you are place has been severed from work and it’s been in a very adaptive way people with disabilities have been fighting forever to work remotely they were the first there asking for remote and flexible and adaptive work the burning platform question is whether work will whether new work opportunities will be generated from the experiences of the pandemic from the from the acknowledgement that flexible work is now the wave of the future and and now available and we have said about the look at workers with disabilities as a natural the most untapped talent pipeline in the universe in the global workforce and yet we can’t assume that people with disabilities will come into the technology infrastructure and support in order to avail themselves of this new flexible remote work this new way of working without corresponding investment in a new workplace in new workplace technologies and so with that acknowledgement we’ve divided our investment thesis into up-skilling and reskilling workers future proofing work not the worker thinking about supporting innovation hubs around the world that support early stage ideas and early stage entrepreneurs looking at the next generation of workplace and work related technologies sue just gave a tremendous example of work-related technologies and how it can innovate access and opportunity for workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities and looking around the globe at underrepresented founders with disabilities i think that the next phase of unfinished business and civil rights is not merely a question about equality it’s now a question about equity and it’s about who is accessing it corresponding investment in new ways of working as opposed to merely advancing only the argument of equality so equality is definitely important and sufficient maybe not maybe necessary but definitely not sufficient for for competitiveness in the new global marketplace. so that’s a long-winded answer. Is it a burning platform probably not because probably the reason why you know diving into the water is a lot easier when you realise that there’s both profit and purpose in this there are truly tremendous investable ideas all over the world that are being advanced today by disability entrepreneurs.
Pete [22:23] I love that that’s fantastic and I kind of was ingest kind of baiting the two of you you actually think that you both agree.
Dwayne [22:34] No you can’t disagree with that because there is money behind it and there’s profit behind it which is, unfortunately, that’s the way our society works right it’s all about is there is a bottom line that makes our society go ahead and the answer is yes there is there are actually 40 billion dollars in the Australian market about people with disabilities and that’s just being left on the table because they don’t cater for us and if you don’t cater for us well that’s a whole bunch of money you’re missing out on and that’s the message that’s missing from the leaders’ conversation because there aren’t leaders with disabilities and then, therefore, you don’t expect them to focus on that community back to you people
Pete [22:16] well Dwayne I might kind of continue with you then that so that that kind of that piece around I know you touched on it earlier and then gina just touched on it then about kind of hacking the job and not trying to fit people to the job that don’t suit them what do you like about this approach and what would you like to see?
Dwayne [23;50] so social model of disability is disabilities equal impairments plus barriers I modified that formula a little bit here’s what I did I took that UN formula and took it to an application of a job which is you get rid of the dis you keep the impairment and you just find the adjustment level so the job equals impairment plus adjustment level that’s exactly what regina is talking about right here and if you think about it from a disability discrimination act it’s effectively impairments barriers and how you adjust it if you want to say adjustment or personalisation same thing same thing right so if you’re thinking about it from a large organisation perspective if you have and disability is not as complex as you need to think about it from a corporate perspective there’s only a handful of things you need to focus on site hearing mobility touch think and there is the invisible discipline which is about basically from a work perspective it’s about capacity right how much stamina you have you add that into a standard standard kind of formula you can take your job solve for the amount of adjustment that each type of disability sub-community needs to have and get rid of the excuses because the issue that we have right now is that we have a tokenistic approach to job to hiring we say we can we can probably do a targeted role here or there i’m saying run every one of your jobs through this criteria and I will guarantee you that you will able to say something like 70 to 80 of my jobs can be done by a person with a disability just not the same type of disability and then you can question why not all the jobs can be done by all the disabilities and that becomes a targeted blunt question that executives can ask themselves of how are they actually doing this thing and if they if you do this you’re actually taking a really good first step if you manage to successfully I did this for like two organisations I looked at going I can actually put a person with a disability in a 30 000 one I can hire a person with a disability in every job in this 30 000 person organisation the easiest one to do believe it or not is all the leaders because they have like 20 or so people reporting to them giving them everything that they need all the leadership roles are disability friendly not so much support systems in there but if you put a whole bunch of disability leaders you’ll find all those frontline jobs becoming display friendly too that’s my controversial topic for the moment
Pete [26:24] thanks Dwayne and I encourage you if anyone else from the audience has got questions we’ve got a couple of questions that have been rolling in already encourage you to click on the tab down below and enter your question there so if we kind of think then about you know this opportunity for disruption through innovation how can innovators look to further disrupt the coming changes to labor market needs?
Sue [26:53] I‘m going to answer that with an example again and this is something that we’ve done at Abilityworks so we we have for the last 10 years been working with trans urban era road toll provider your e-tape so as a customer you know you have an e-tag in your car and when there’s something wrong with it you’d send it back to trans urban well it doesn’t go back to Transurban it comes to us and because we’ve been running this for 10 years we’ve been able to do a lot of innovation around it to get more and more people particularly with intellectual disability or complex support needs into work so something we’ve done recently is we purchased a robot called Matilda who is driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning and when you as a customer return your e-tape you normally send some correspondence and you write on it you know what the issue is with your e-taker that you want fixed so Matilda is what we’ve done with Matilda is we’ve fed into Matilda some key words so Matilda can read the correspondence and the reason we’ve done that is because many of our people don’t have literacy challenges so what it’s allowed us to do is enable people who wouldn’t normally be able to work on the trans urban account and edible ability works it’s considered to be a very prestigious account to work on so people who couldn’t normally work on that account to work with Matilda and Matilda talks to them and gives them feedback and helps them to sort the tags you know according and and do what they’re supposed to do so I love this example because it’s it’s what it’s done for a lot of our guys who have literacy challenges it’s it’s helped them their self-esteem their self-confidence to work on something as important as this and it’s really meaningful work so my answer to your question is you really need to look at the need and also to Dwayne’s point around personalisation we really do that at Abilityworks we we look to break jobs down into their component parts and to match somebody’s abilities with that particular part and on the transverse account again using that we’ve actually created jobs so we initially only we did that work with seven people who were quite highly you know they didn’t have complex support needs but we’ve now been able to double from seven to fourteen and put many people with complex support needs on the trans urban account just by breaking jobs down working with technology training as well so there’s a number of things it’s not just technology that you use to get people into work
Pete [30:09] that’s brilliant and we’ve had a couple of questions come through I might ask this one’s from Mike big company for his company right now exceptional one company that we know quite well I came through remarkable a couple of years ago he said it’s hard to get support and adjustments if you don’t disclose and a lot of neurodivergent people as many years up to 60 are fearful of disclosing because of being discriminated against what would the panelists recommend for addressing this at scale who wants to take that
Sue [30:35] I might have a go at that I used to work at beyondblue prior to working at Abilityworks so beyondblue is an organisation that does mental health advocacy and raising awareness reducing the stigma around mental health and they had a formula that they used and the more awareness you raise the more stigma and discrimination you can reduce and the more stigma and discrimination you reduce the more times you’ve got of people disclosing that they’ve got you know getting help and disclosing that they’ve got a mental health condition and therefore reducing the prevalence of mental health conditions and i think in the disability sector or particularly disability employment we are lacking a similar type of organisation that can do that awareness raising and advocacy work because corporations and governments are full of unconscious biases around people with disabilities and you know it’s too it’s too hard to employ them if they cost more they’ll take more leads particularly like there’s a whole lot of unconscious biases that are operating in leaders and i think what beyond blue did for mental health we need somebody in disability employment to do the same
Dwayne [32:00] yes as a society we need to keep advocating going for that thing specifically for the person my in my when i do an application my opening paragraph says i’m a double amputee and everything i disclose it straight away now is that is there value in that in disclosing do i know if my resume will be thrown straight in the bin the question is you’ve got to stop carrying as a as an application it’s a numbers game for you applying for a job so put it in there disclose it’s better for you to disclose and get it over with because then you know your organisation knows that you’re you’re going to be someone that’s upfront and honest there’s value add in that now it’s not great right it’s not the society that we want that we don’t we can keep ourselves private the society that we currently have is tell people i i walk around in three-quarter shorts everywhere i mean it’s a zoom world so you don’t get to see it now but i went from wearing long pants at work to wearing three quarter shots at work just to you know drum up the awareness and that helped people not even in meetings with me to start thinking about the disability issue in the workplace you can’t change the workplace if you’re not in it so put the information in there and get yourself out there that’s all i can say to that person
Pete [33:21] Yeah I guess I like Dwayne when we’re still in this situation where they know that a number of them are going to be discriminated against. How do we kind of started changing some of that? I don’t know if there are any easy answers to any of this? to do its care
Dwayne Absolutely not so it’s for us right now for the community it’s all about resilience and then again we’ve had ten thousand nodes thrown at us already we’ve had that happening for almost everything we have the resilience at hand right and it’s once we’re in we then make it easier for the next person and that’s the objective that we have to play as people with disabilities as leaders with disabilities now it’s not for everybody to do that it’s exhausting I can tell you that it’s exhausting and then you tap someone on the shoulder to take the thing further get it to as far as you can and then take a break, go relax, reset your mind and try again but if you’re someone that can you should advocate for your community but do that subtly and personally as part of your regular life not don’t overstretch because you’re an individual you’re not a corporation that’s advocating so we’re there and there are corporations out here that here to do that
Pete [34:41] and Dwayne, we might stick with you. There’s a question from Mujahid who asked how do I go about getting a job and this is obviously someone who is keen to find a job so how do I go to find a job in Australia when they do have a disability? What are some of the top one or two tips that you give to that person?
Dwayne In a government organisation in new south wales there’s something called GSE rule 26 as a government organisation we can break the rules of recruiting to higher diversity types it works for people with aboriginal aboriginal background people with disabilities refugees is a criteria that fits on that thing as well as whoever the governor decides i think he randomly selects some people based on what the stats are in that space i think i’m missing one more thing might be youth as well now as a government job skating that you are a person from these communities there are background criteria that people check if you’re ticking boxes that meet their criteria yes you might get selected by that it might progress you up the line to get actually reviewed but you still need to have the merits for the job can you still do the job and the answer is yes you can well then you have an equal way to do it now each state legislation has similar things the disability discrimination act and there’s the anti-discrimination board that each organisation to ask for exemptions so that they can focus on diversity i personally found that in my organisation mindset play when we put it out there for people to come and work with us the disability community came working with us why because we’re we’re completely online and they all self-identify we had in our first three people we had more diversity we had the LGBTQI community we had the autism community we had people with disabilities and all just it it made up our stats and they just came out of there so maybe the role itself needs to be innovative it’s and interesting to get that that space
Pete [36:51] That’s awesome. We’ve had a question from Tara asking what tech solutions are needed to help people with intellectual disability find a role in the workforce. Sue, would you be able to take that one?
Sue I find that tara a little bit difficult to answer because =you know we have we employ a lot of people with intellectual disability but they have very very different needs so you know you can’t look at intellectual disability like it’s just one thing so you know we’ve used a range of technologies as I’ve just described already from a combination of robotics artificial intelligence machine learning but I think it’s quite individual and it and that also as I’ve described previously and there’s a range of apps as well that you can use but I don’t believe it’s just technology there’s you know we use a number of different techniques which I’ve already described breaking jobs down a lot you know looking at aligning a particular job to somebody’s skill set we also use a lot of training and support so I’m sorry if that doesn’t answer your question directly but that’s yeah I don’t believe you can look at just intellectual disability as a whole
Pete [00:38] As one thing I think that’s a good response Dwayne we’ve had a question here from Filipa asking how can we change reform or reshape the k-12 curriculum and teaching methods to improve employment participation rates for people with disabilities how do we kind of go right back and start influencing change back there what are your thoughts on that?
Dwayne [00:38] Stop segregating schools as simple as that I grew up I grew up in New Zealand my education was in New Zealand during that that time that really shapes your identity the physical disability unit and that was the unit that needed the people it’s now called a disability unit in Mount Roskill in New Zealand was in the heart of the school perfect centre of the school and i would check in there in the morning and then go to all my regular classes what that did for students was that they knew that society had more than their perfectly able people every class had people with disability if person needed an additional adjustment they would use the universe resources and go to the class and do so reshape our schools to be absolutely inclusive of everybody in society yes some of us may be disrupting and then we can have specialised things within the school itself not a separate place 200 Kilometres away none of that if you have inclusion at the start you do not you you you’ll have inclusion in the work it’s simple as that build our schools to be inclusive of everybody and have them all together now if you want specific classes let’s teach inclusive infrastructure let’s teach inclusive service delivery let’s teach inclusive employment those are broad categories that you can teach to year 11 and year 12 that they take and they play alternatively just let’s play d and together the great equaliser around the table and if you’re playing with people with disability well you remember them from their youth and then you’re thinking about them when you’re hiring them because they were so creative around the digital table and that’s something that you can do too.
Pete [40:19] that’s awesome that’s great and thanks Ann Massey as well for your hat tip to a program that I used to manage just like you programmed that was run in primary schools all over the state of new south wales and now has been taken over by a variety is being run all over Australia and actually in Canada now as well we’ve got one more question here from Ricky and Gina I might direct this to you what are some of the things that leaders with and without disabilities can do to ensure that companies start taking action on employing people with disabilities and not so not doing so for tokenistic or KPI reasons?
Gina [40:59] yes well i think that there is a on an optimistic note i think that there are companies many of which have a huge market share of consumer products that are committed to inclusive design principles and to accessibility and we’re seeing great efforts around the world around diversity equity and inclusion but here’s the reality i mean the reality is that 80 to 90 of labor market participation in the world is made up of small and medium-sized businesses and not the largest companies of the economy so what are we to do about that i mean the real question is not whether well-meaning actors at the top of the fortune 500 see disability diverse talent pipelines is of use and onboarding is utterly necessary to their company’s operations but the worldwide economy is missing trillions of dollars of talent and what is it going to take to bring people back into the labor market and so the question has to be seeing diversity and inclusion and building an inclusive workforce from the bottom up as equally as mutually a beneficial strategy is building it from the top down and how do we build it from the bottom up let’s look at the workers that we’re talking about we’re talking about a group of people who’ve experienced a lack of access to not only social capital around the world as a consequence of historic discrimination but lack of access to financial services into banking when we’re talking about the collateral to access a small business loan to start an early stage company we’re talking about people that utterly need risk capital here’s what they don’t need is great ideas what we’re seeing is that there’s an equanimity there’s an equal opportunity distribution of fabulous ideas all over this world and we’re finding so many disability entrepreneurs everywhere and this conversation of how do we stick people into companies that are well meaning and ready to do dei onboarding maybe we should broaden the conversation a little bit in the in the places that we chat we should be talking about how do we build a robust bottom-up strategy to bring great people into ownership over their own ideas into mediation minimum viable product of their ideas owning an equity stake in their own future how do we get people with disabilities around the world to not only own their ideas but fully develop them and bring them to market and we know that this is possible we know that people with disabilities that we’ve met that you support pete that we all are friends with and friends and family that our natural design thinkers that have spent their lives solving problems have been spent their lives excluded from traditional ways of working have dreamt up new ways of working and being employed and so part of my answer about how do you take action to build utterly diverse talent pipelines is you think differently about a bottom-up strategy you believe in supporting people not to give away their ideas to the large companies but to own them
Pete [44:26] That’s brilliant. That’s so good now we’ve really run out of time now we’ve only got about a minute to go so I’m just briefly across the panel. What’s your last, what’s your kind of final remarkable insight that you could give around the future of work so sue might start with you?
Sue [44:45] I think we need to approach the future of work with optimism and an attitude of harnessing technology rather than stereotypical thinking that it will reduce jobs however at the same time I think we need to combine that with rethinking about how we define ourselves you know many of us define ourselves through work and a job title and purpose can be acquired not just through work but volunteering supporting others no close connections with family and friends and we may need to think more in terms of contributing likes for some of us because not all of us may necessarily find an opportunity in the new economy
Pete [45:31] Thanks see that’s great Dwayne what about you?
Dwayne [45:35] jobs equal impairments plus adjustment levels take that formula apply it to your workplace as a corporate as a small business and hire people that you can financially handle and get that space but for the rest of us keep keep keep yourself visible even if you are an invisible disability person put that down let people know because that will reduce the stigma foundations will go higher
Pete thanks Dwayne and gina finally over to you
Gina [46:10] In the near future disability will be synonymous worldwide with innovation
Pete [46:17] I love that that’s fantastic that is all we’ve got time for we’ve gone a little a minute over so far thank you so much to our panelists Gina Sue and Dwayne also to our auslan interpreter Gerry thank you for for signing for us today remarkable is about harnessing technology and innovation for building social and economic inclusion of people with disability next month we’ll be running our annual Design-athon where participants can gain first-hand experience at how good design enables human potential by tackling one of three challenges and future of work is one of those challenges so we’d love to see teams apply for that teams have a chance to win from the twenty thousand dollar prize pool including prizes and potential cash funding to invest back into your solution at the end of the four week challenge you can see more details for that on remarkable.org/events also we’ll be seeking your feedback on today’s event so if you do have any feedback we’d love to hear that this recording will be made available on our youtube channel subscribe if you don’t want to miss the recordings we need some more subscribers we’ve got lots of people watching things but not subscribing so please subscribe this kind of conversation is vital we hope it brings about actionable insights for each of you and we encourage you to continue and share those remarkable insights on social media please tag remarkable tech and remarkable insights our next event is on Thursday the 9th of September on science or science fiction of brain computer interface so we hope to see you then thank you so much for joining us and enjoy the rest of your day thank you.
[14:54] ILO Report: Persons with disabilities need new roadmap to join future world of work
[34:24] GSE rule 26: Public Service agencies employing people with disability using rule 26