Access, inclusion & innovation in disability employment: Cross-cultural research conference

  • Yoon, Jung (Chief Investigator)
  • Goodwin-Smith, Ian (Chief Investigator (Project Lead))
  • Tucker, Basil (Associate Investigator)
  • Ellison, Caroline (Associate Investigator)

Project Details


The research project, 'Access, Inclusion, and Innovation in Disability Employment' (AIIDE) aims at creating a cross-cultural research platform to exchange information and knowledge about policies, business management strategies, skill training, and a diverse job range in disability employment through international case studies of businesses enabling the socio-economic participation of people with disability. For many years, studies on disability have been predominantly undertaken in the areas of social science, public health, and humanity to improve the quality of life and human rights of people with disability by reflecting their voice and investigating their daily life in the past and present (Oliver, 1999). Such studies have built a corner rock of positive social change, such as shifting to the social model of disability to improve equality and social, cultural, and economic participation of people with disability (Oliver, 1999, 2013; Shakespear & Watson, 1997). However, we still have found a significant gap in the socio-economic participation of people with disability in the mainstream workforce not only in Australia but also in most industrialised countries (United Nations, 2017; International Labour Organisation, 2019).
The development of disability employment for the socio-economic participation of people with disability is a critical global agenda. This research project focuses on enabling and managing the socio-economic participation of people with disability from a business perspective in the areas of business, policy, management controls, and raising disability awareness among potential employers. The social model of disability is defined as 'the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a contemporary social organisation which takes no account of people who have physical impairment and thus excludes them from mainstream social activities' (Goodley, 2001, p. 208). Accordingly, it is critical to raise disability awareness and interests in creating diverse socio-economic opportunities in the mainstream workforce by educating and communicating with business owners and employers. We aim to develop accessible, inclusive, and innovative disability employment with industrial partners, including business owners, job skill agencies, and policymakers, by studying and sharing diverse strategies for skill matching, management controls, two-way communication, and understanding between employers and workers disability. The employment and labour force can improve the principles of equality, democracy, sustainability, and social cohesion (United Nations, 2017; International Labour Organisation, 2019).

Layman's description

People with disability do not access enough working opportunities in the mainstream workforce. It is critical to raise disability awareness within mainstream business industries to create inclusive working opportunities for those with a disability who are keen to work. However, many employers and business owners do not have opportunities to learn and explore the concept of disability and what it means to employ them in terms of access and inclusion. This research project aims to raise disability awareness within mainstream business communities by targeting the stakeholders of business owners, entrepreneurs and potential employers. This project will create a virtual platform to share international business cases of inclusive and accessible disability employment by analysing their strategies and business model based on different social policies. It also aims to share through conferences and workshops with key stakeholders nationally and internationally.

Key findings

Accessible working environment, inclusive organisational culture, innovative skill training, person-centred approach to professional development, creative and innovative businesses for disability employment
Short titleAccess, inclusion & innovation in disability employment
Effective start/end date10/01/229/01/23


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