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People with disability

Tailored guidance for the recruitment and selection of people with disability to Victorian Government boards.

There are more than one million people with disability living in Victoria. Around 20% of Victorians identify as a person with disability; less than 1% of people serving on Victorian public sector boards identify as a person with disability.

Victorians with disability have a wide range of conditions and impairments. Some conditions are present from birth. Other people acquire or develop disability during their lifetime from an accident, condition, illness or injury. For some people, support needs can increase over time. Others can experience fluctuating or episodic disability.

While people with disability are a diverse group, they have a shared experience of encountering negative attitudes and barriers to full participation in everyday activities. This can be compounded by additional barriers based on other characteristics, including their age, gender, ethnicity and sexuality.

Key considerations

Candidates are not required to tell you about their disability unless it is relevant to their ability to complete the inherent requirements of the role. A person can choose to disclose that they identify as a person with disability at any point in the recruitment process or following their appointment.

Do not make assumptions and always ask what supports and adjustments people need to perform at their best throughout the process – noting most people will not require any supports or adjustments – they are the most reliable source of information about their own needs. This will help give the person with disability confidence that you are making an active effort to remove barriers to their participation. Refer to your department’s Human Resources area for advice and your department’s reasonable adjustment policy.

Ensure all recruitment materials are available in an accessible Word format. Refer to the recruitment process guidance for further information on accessible documents.

Ensure interviews are conducted in accessible venues. Never assume a venue is accessible, always visit before making a booking.

Ensure that discussions are accessible – consider the language, speed and order of the conversation to ensure that the candidate is able to fully participate. For example, use Plain English, ask one question at a time and avoid rapid changes in discussion topics.

Additional information

The VPSC Disability Employment ToolkitExternal Link provides advice to public servants employing people with a disability, which can be applied to boards.

Voice at the TableExternal Link provides advice to support the inclusion of people with cognitive disability on boards and committees.

Advertising channels

Advertising channel Description Process to advertise or contact information
Disability Advocacy Resource UnitExternal Link (DARU) A dedicated resource unit that works with disability advocacy organisations. Email appointment details to DARU at admin@daru.org.au to advertise through the weekly update to Victorian disability advocacy services for people with disability and other stakeholders.
Disability Leadership InstituteExternal Link The National Register of Disability Leaders contains information about people with a disability who are leaders across a range of fields. Consult the National Register using the online formExternal Link .
Self-Advocacy Resource UnitExternal Link (SARU) SARU supports self-advocacy groups that are run by and for people with an intellectual disability, people with an acquired brain injury and people with complex communication support needs. Email appointment details to SARU at saru@rosshouse.org.au to advertise through the SARU weekly newsletter, sent to all self-advocacy groups, members and other stakeholders.
Voice at the TableExternal Link

A project of the Self-Advocacy Resource Unit that aims to increase the number of people with cognitive disability on boards.

Email appointment details to Voice at the Table at training@voiceatthetable.com.au to advertise through the consumer advocates registerExternal Link .
Leadership VictoriaExternal Link An independent social enterprise that provides leadership development training to people across business, government and community sectors.
LinkedInExternal Link An effective platform to reach people with disability. All promotion should strongly encourage people with disability to apply.
Office for Disability, Department of Families, Fairness and HousingExternal Link The DFFH Office for Disability can distribute your advertisement to disability networks, including agencies funded through the Victorian Disability Advocacy Program. Email appointment details to the Office for Disability at ofd@dffh.vic.gov.au.

Reviewed 18 March 2022

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