What is disability?

Disability is part of human diversity - but it’s often misunderstood.

Disability is an impairment, limitation or restriction to a person’s mental, mobility or sensory functions. It can be:

  • Visible or invisible
  • Temporary or permanent
  • Total or partial
  • Lifelong or acquired
  • Caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease

People with disability purchase consumer goods, have jobs, go on holidays, access information and contribute to society.

Yet they are often faced with significant barriers and challenges while trying to do these things that many of us take for granted.

Want to prepare your business to be accessible and inclusive?

Download the APM Disability Inclusion Checklist to learn more.

Australian statistics

Almost 1 in 5 people have a recognised disability. That’s 4.4 million Australians.

Only 48% of working age people with a disability are employed compared to 79% without disability and 11% are under employed.

1 in 6 adults with disability have a tertiary qualification and more than one-third are managers and professionals.

83% of people with disability do not need time off work because of their condition.

Benefits of hiring people with disability

Disability is part of human diversity - and diversity is good for business.

Creating an inclusive, diverse workplace benefits everyone - your employees, your business and the community as a whole.

Ensuring your organisation welcomes people with disability is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.

Australian and international research shows that employees with disability:

  • Are reliable, dedicated and loyal;
  • Build relationships with customers across a wide cross-section of the community;
  • Have lower levels of absenteeism than other employees;
  • Have fewer compensation incidents and accidents at work compared to other employees;

Employees with disability will support you in achieving your business objectives while enhancing the diversity of your workforce.

A diverse workforce has many benefits including:

  • Enhanced talent attraction and retention;
  • More engaged, motivated and productive employees;
  • More creativity, innovation and new/valuable perspectives;
  • Better employee morale and teamwork;
  • Enhanced procurement and tendering opportunities;
  • Enhanced understanding of what your customers or clients with disability may need;
  • Enhanced brand reputation and loyalty;
  • Stronger corporate social responsibility

Benefits of employment for people with disability

Work is good for health.

Yet only 48% of people with disability of working age are participating in the Australian workforce.

For people with disability, employment provides:

  • Financial independence and security
  • A sense of identity
  • Social inclusion and connectedness
  • Positive personal wellbeing 
  • Physical and mental health benefits

People with disability and work: myths and misconceptions

Disability is often misunderstood.

Here are three common misconceptions about people with disability and work:

Myth 1: It costs more to employ a person with a disability - and we’ll have more OHS issues
Myth 2: An employee with disability will have more sick days
Myth 3: There’s no support available for employers who hire staff with disability

How to get started

Diversity is good for business - are you ready to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace?

Here are some simple steps to get you started:

  • Review the current environment, team structure, roles and culture. Are they accessible and inclusive? Could a person with disability easily start work in your business tomorrow?
  • Ask 'what do you need to know about disability to help you get ready?'.
  • Contact an expert. Seek advice and guidance from an APM specialist in disability employment.

Prepare your business to be accessible and inclusive, download the APM Disability Inclusion Checklist to learn more.

About APM

APM is the largest provider of disability employment services in Australia.

For more than 25 years, we’ve been helping Australian businesses grow and realise the benefits of an inclusive and accessible workplace.

We provide a tailored, no-cost recruitment service and ready-to-work job seekers.

Over the last 12 months, APM has assisted thousands of job seekers with a disability.

APM is your workforce diversity and inclusivity partner.

We work in partnership with Australian businesses to embed processes and initiatives to support the employment of people with disability. This includes:

  • Access and inclusion audits
  • Changes to culture, systems and physical environments
  • Disability awareness training
  • Inclusive HR processes and guidelines
  • Identifying suitable roles for people with disability
  • Internal communication 
  • Support for the implementation of new processes and initiatives

Diversity is good for business.

Are you ready to realise the benefits of a diverse workforce?

Register now to receive more information about how APM can help you achieve your diversity and inclusion goals.

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