By Joel Sardi
This month, we contacted Forward Ambassador, Joel Sardi and asked him about his experience working with Get Skilled Access Australia. GSA’s focus is on fostering an inclusive society and has recently launched a new job site that works towards getting people living with disability in sustainable skilled employment. Read what Joel has to say about his dream job at GSA.
What I do
Get Skilled Access is a disability inclusion & accessibility consulting company founded by Dylan Alcott AO in 2016. We provide numerous services to small and large organisations such as accessibility audits, accessibility and inclusion training, community programs for people living with disability and to empower women living with a disability in the community.
With a heavy focus on being disability led and driven, we pride ourselves on speaking of matters that relates directly to people living with a disability within Australia.
In October last year, ‘the Field’ was launched by GSA. It is here where my ‘day-to-day’ job of stakeholder engagement and business development lies.
‘the Field’ is here!
‘the Field’ is a job site built by and for people with disability, actively connecting them with inclusive employers and jobs. The first of its kind, it has been built with accessibility and inclusivity at the core of every part of the process from design to development and implementation. Spurred on by the unchanging unemployment rate of Australians living with disability (48%), my role is to grow and promote the platform’s benefits to job seekers and employers. It involves meeting with small businesses and large corporates virtually or face-to-face.
How it started
I was approached by Dylan’s father, Martin who is a founding partner in GSA to come into the office and have a chat. Upon meeting Martin and the GSA team, I was so impressed at their authentic and warm demeanour, it took me only 10 minutes to make the decision that I wanted to be a part of this incredible team!
Dylan had just won Wimbledon and it was quite evident to me that this company was only getting bigger and stronger. As somebody with disability, it is a newfound passion to provide a better life to people who were born with or acquired disability. I am fortunate to have the network and the voice to speak on such matters, so it would be remiss of me to not make the most of this opportunity. There are currently 2.4 million Australians of working age living with disability who can provide incredible benefits to workplaces around the country.
I was thankful to be provided employment in the early days after my injury, but I also witnessed the misconceptions people had around disability. The mindset and attitude towards giving a job to someone with a disability would be considered charitable as opposed to the right decision for the business. Over 50% of Australian employers have not hired somebody with a disability, this is where ‘The Field’ will challenge those misconceptions and change the unconscious bias that we have as a society around disability.
The current scene
There have been various government incentives, programs and organisations established with the intention to provide employment to people with disability. However, if we look at the current unemployment rate, they have not been as successful as once intended. A greater understanding around disability is needed; people can’t be afraid to ask questions or say something in the fear of offending somebody. The only way to learn and understand is by asking questions.
What can employers do
For current employers looking to make a change, the best way to increase representation and change culture is by employing a diverse workforce. That can be easily achieved! The Field is a platform which allows you to hire somebody based on what they can do versus what they can’t. As of mid-October, you can create a profile as a job seeker or an employer, highlighting your accessibility features of a workplace or your accessibility requirements.
As a job seeker, you are encouraged to celebrate your accessibility and inclusive features. Jobseekers can also identify how they choose to conduct a job interview and employers can conduct training provided by The Field on how to become more inclusive in their recruitment, understand the language around disability and much more!
Give your feedback
Get Skilled Access is conducting a Disability Inclusion survey for Ryde Hospital as part of a federally funded ‘Inclusive Healthcare Program Pilot’ designed to provide hospital staff with education and awareness to improve the experiences for people with disability and their carers.
If you or someone you know have attended Ryde Hospital within the last 12 months as an inpatient or outpatient, and identify as having disability, or a carer of someone with disability, they are interested in your insights and feedback. To find out more or to take part in the survey, click here.