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Workplace adjustments make big difference

District offers enhanced support for employees living with a disability.

SydneyConnect video: International Day of People with Disability

Mary Benjamin was thrilled to join Concord Hospital's Brain and Nerve Research Centre as an administration officer this year, but hesitated when she saw the size of the hospital campus.

"It's not easy for me to walk far. I had polio when I was young, and it continues to affect my mobility as an adult. I was excited to take on the new role, but once I came to work at Concord the distances between departments and buildings were overwhelming," Mary said.

She contacted the District Workforce Disability and Inclusion Officer Anderson Parker who was able to help.

"We worked with Mary to make reasonable adjustments to her work environment. These are small changes that can make a big difference.

"The District has clear ways for managers and staff to work through making reasonable adjustments together, as part of the commitment to diversity and inclusion," Anderson said.

Mary is pleased with the outcome.

"They arranged for a JobAccess assessor to come and check out my needs, who recommended a scooter to help improve my mobility around the hospital."

On 3 December each year, the District joins the International Day of People with Disability to boost awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

It's estimated more than 28,000 people with disability live in the District.

To mark the Day in 2021, District Workforce are launching the Workforce Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2021-25 - a blueprint to steer the District towards a goal of 5.6 per cent disability employment participation in the District by 2025.

It's available on the District Disability employment website for people with disability interested in coming to work at the District.

The District's employment partners, such as JobAccess, JobSupport and WISE employment, will play an important role in helping reach that goal because they provide coaching, training and support.

Mary said the range of disability support available to employees shows the District's commitment to embracing diversity.

"My disability became my ability. I encourage everyone who has health or mobility issues to understand that they can continue to work. Have the courage to ask for help, there is help available and it's there for you – you just need to ask," she said.

For more information, please email SLHD-DiversityAndInclusion@health.nsw.gov.au