City of Newcastle champions disability inclusion in the workplace

25 Nov 2022

A training video advocating for more inclusive workplaces will be launched today to raise awareness of the barriers and opportunities people with a disability face in employment.

Filmed earlier this year during City of Newcastle’s (CN) Count Us In disability inclusion festival, the video was produced in partnership with Community Disability Alliance Hunter (CDAH) to be used as a training, advocacy and educational resource targeted at employers and local businesses.

Video participants, community organisations and members of the local business community will take part in today's launch at the Digital Library, which is among the events being supported by CN in the lead up to International Day of People with Disability on 3 December.

An inclusive art workshop facilitated by local artist Em Warren and Newcastle Art Gallery and an inclusive sports day for students with disability will also be supported by CN as part of its commitment and progress toward disability inclusion, in line with the actions adopted in the Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 2022 –2026.

With at least 20 percent of people in our community living with a disability, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said International Day of People with Disability presents an opportunity to reflect and undertake activities that foster discussion in the community about disability inclusion.

“City of Newcastle is committed to championing inclusion of all people in the community and improving employment outcomes for people living with a disability to ensure Newcastle is a liveable, sustainable and inclusive global city for all who live, visit or work here," Cr Nelmes said.

"This International Day of People with Disability, we stand with Newcastle's disability representative organisations who champion inclusion year-round and continue to raise awareness of the barriers people living with disability face every day.”

Councillor Margaret Wood, co-chair of CN's Access Inclusion Advisory Committee, said there are significant barriers faced by people living with a disability, particularly when it comes to employment opportunities.

"Much work needs to be done in identifying the barries so we can improve employment opportunities for people living with disability and bridge those gaps,” Cr Wood said.

“We all get reward and personal satisfaction through meaningful employment. Our local workplaces need to genuinely reflect all people in the community and society with less judgement and more understanding.

“The training video prepared by CN and CDAH presents a localised understanding of how a diverse workforce can contribute to a truly inclusive community here in Newcastle.”

City of Newcastle is also proud to support CDAH and Speak Up Hunter with their Shifting the Line event on 9 December at Foreshore Park.

CDAH Executive Officer Andrew Vodic said Shifting the Line is a community event designed to raise awareness of some of the barriers and the strengths that people with disability use to overcome them.

“This event has been designed and planned by Speak Up Hunter, a CDAH peer group where people with intellectual disability have a real voice in the Hunter,” Mr Vodic said.

“This amazing group of people have used that collective voice to come up with this brilliant and worthwhile community-based activity. I encourage the community to come and hear what they have to say on disability awareness.”

Click here to view a two-minute teaser of the Disability Training Video.

International Day for People with a Disability (IDPwD) events in Newcastle:

Diversify your Workforce: Disability and Employment special screening
Friday, 25 November 2022
3:30pm – 5pm, Digital Library
Local businesses are invited to a special screening of the ‘Diversify your Workforce: Disability and Employment’ advocacy video, prepared by CN and CDAH, followed by a panel discussion led by Joseph Popov and Bill Armstrong over afternoon tea at the City Administration Centre’s Digital Library.

Activate Inclusion Sports Day Newcastle
Wednesday, 30 November 2022
10-12pm, Newcastle Basketball Stadium
Facilitated by Sports NSW, Activate Inclusion Sports Day is a one-day program designed to promote the pathways for inclusive sport and active recreation for students aged between 5-18 years with a sensory, physical or intellectual disability. Participants will experience a variety of modified sporting activities on the day facilitated by specialised coaches, with the support of students from local universities and community organisations.

Newcastle Art Gallery Community Art Workshop – Everyone is an artist with Em Warren
Saturday, 3 December 2022
10am – 12pm, Watt Space Gallery
Join local artist Em Warren on IDPwD day, as she facilitates this free inclusive art workshop. Em will share insights into her practice and guide you through a range of collage techniques inspired by 'Summer at Carcoar' by Brett Whiteley. Participants will create their own work of art using natural materials.

Shifting the Line community event
Friday, 9 December 2022
10-12pm, Foreshore Park
City of Newcastle is proud to support CDAH and Speak Up Hunter for their Shifting the Line community event, which raises awareness of some of the barriers and strengths that people with disability use to overcome them.