Information for applicants with disabilities

The Department promotes an accessible and inclusive working environment for people with disability. As a department we recognise that employees with disability have talents, skills and qualifications they can bring to the organisation.

We believe these attributes and having 'disability confidence' helps us shape results, business outputs and customer service.

Services and support

The Department is committed to assisting people with disability in the workplace to reach their full potential by providing a range of services, support groups and awareness programs. Examples of support we provide to prospective and current staff with disability include:

  • a disability coordinator to confidentially discuss and assist in arranging any requirements
  • Auslan interpreters
  • provision of reasonable adjustments for assistive technology and other workplace requirements - training will be provided to use assistive technologies where necessary
  • a professional network of employees with disability

Disability sponsor

Deputy Secretary Dean Knudson is currently the Disability Sponsor for departmental employees with disability. The role of Disability Sponsor involves:

  • promoting and supporting the inclusion of people with disability
  • listening to the views and concerns of people with disability
  • ensuring that the goals of the Disability Action Plan and progress towards meeting them remain 'on the radar' of the Department’s senior executives and Executive Board

Disclosing your disability

There is no obligation for you to disclose your disability unless the disability will affect your job performance or ability to work safely. However, disclosure will help us better support you, including through the selection process if needed. You will not be treated less favourably because of your disability.

Why we collect data

With comprehensive and accurate diversity information, the Department is better able to:

  • understand the nature of our workforce
  • provide more targeted training, advice and support
  • identify and implement initiatives that assist in attracting, recruiting and retaining employees
  • make sure we are building and sustaining a diverse workforce now and into the future
  • provide greater focus on improving workplace culture and social inclusion



A person has a disability if they report that they have a limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities. This includes:

  • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
  • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, or substitute for, hearing is used
  • speech difficulties
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties causing restriction
  • chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort causing restriction
  • blackouts, fits or loss of consciousness
  • difficulty learning or understanding
  • incomplete use of arms or fingers
  • difficulty gripping or holding things
  • incomplete use of feet or legs
  • nervous or emotional condition causing restriction
  • restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work
  • disfigurement or deformity
  • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision
  • long-term effects of head injury, stroke or other brain damage causing restriction
  • receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term conditions or ailments and still restricted
  • any other long-term conditions resulting in a restriction

*Taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics - 2003 Disability, Ageing and Carers Survey

Disability confidence

Disability confidence is about creating a culture of inclusion and removing barriers to people with disability. In creating a disability confident organisation we will be in a position to increase our capacity to employ and retain people with disabilities, encourage a culture of acceptance and respect in the workplace and enable people with disabilities to fully participate in the services and activities of the Department. It means adjusting our processes, attitudes and services to enable individuals to fully participate in our organisation as employees, customers and stakeholders.

Reasonable adjustment

Reasonable adjustment is any form of assistance or adjustment that is necessary, possible and reasonable to make to working arrangements, work methods, equipment or the work environment to reduce or eliminate the effects of disability. Reasonable adjustment enables people with disability to perform efficiently and effectively in the workplace and to compete on their merits for recruitment and career advancement opportunities. The Department will apply the principles of reasonable adjustment to remove barriers to facilitate full participation in all aspects of employment by employees with disability, as described in the Reasonable Adjustment Policy.

Reasonable adjustment enables people with disability to perform efficiently and effectively in the workplace and to compete on their merits for recruitment and career advancement opportunities. Reasonable adjustment can include:

  • provision of appropriate equipment or assistance to ensure there is no barrier in the selection process
  • job redesign
  • training or retraining
  • providing essential information in suitable formats
  • modifications to equipment or the supply of specialised equipment, furniture or work related aids
  • assistive technologies
  • flexible work arrangements
  • alterations to premises or work areas

Assistive technology

Assistive technology consists of products and technology-based services and devices targeted at meeting the specific needs of people with disabilities and elderly people to facilitate their ability to use and benefit from mainstream technology products (DSEWPaC 'Online accessibility policy' 2008).

The Department provides assistive technology and training to use it when needed. Examples include: Dragon NaturallySpeaking, JAWS , ZoomText, TextHelp, Ghotit, laptops.