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Table of contents
- Lord Mayor's introduction
- Executive summary
- Our shared vision for Brisbane
- A profile of people who benefit from better access and inclusion in Brisbane
- Council's history of access and inclusion initiatives
- Reflection on Council's changing approach to access and inclusion
- How this plan was developed
- Implementation, monitoring and reporting
- An innovative local government role
Council employs over 8000 people and is committed to building an adaptable and capable workforce by attracting, developing and retaining skilled, enthusiastic, well trained and appropriately resourced employees. We also contribute to building Brisbane's skills and capability through community-based employment programs.
A disability confident organisation understands how people with a disability relate to its business as potential and existing employees. It creates a culture of inclusion, removes barriers and adjusts processes to enable individuals to contribute fully to the work of the organisation. 
Where we are
Council has been a leader in the employment and retention of employees with a disability since the early 1990s. In that time we have established:
- an internal Disability Advisory Group that provides guidance on both internal as well as external access concerns
- employment programs and recruitment initiatives including designated traineeship intakes, targeted recruitment and community employment programs
- a regularly reviewed target for the employment of people with a disability as part of our Workforce Equity and Diversity Framework which focuses on five equal employment opportunity groups
- career development initiatives for employees with a disability
- partnerships with disability organisations and employment agencies
- an award-winning Reasonable Adjustments Policy (2003 which outlines processes for modifying workplaces to accommodate specific access requirements
- enhanced access to Council's internal websites
- improved procurement and upgrade of equipment and systems through our Information and Communication Technology Forum
While we have made progress in many areas, including recruitment, promotion and retention of employees with a disability, the percentage of employees with a declared disability is still below our target of 10.7%. In September 2011, we were at 6.5%. Part of this may have to do with a preference by some employees to not disclose their disability status as the reporting system is voluntary.
Where we want to be
Our aim is to be a disability confident organisation and an Employer of Choice for people with a disability. We want to attract and retain a workforce reflective of the community we serve, benefiting from the particular skills, knowledge, experience and passion that people with a disability can contribute towards achieving the Brisbane Vision.
- Achieve our target of having 10.7% of Council's workforce made up of people with a declared disability by 2015, with a long-term goal of equitable representation across all band levels by 2020.
- Support recruitment centre staff, interviewers and supervisors to better understand the employment potential of people with a disability and to provide barrier-free recruitment practices, so everyone can compete for employment opportunities on equitable terms.
- Provide accessible work environments where all employees are able to access all Council buildings and fully participate in all work-related systems and processes including adjustments, appropriate technology and compatibility of Council's systems with assistive software.
- Improve employees' mental health and wellness and assist individuals affected by mental health issues as well as their team leaders and team members.
- Lead the way as a role model for other employers in demonstrating the value of innovative employment policies, programs and practices.
Existing actions that will continue
Workforce Equity and Diversity Framework
In the life of this plan, we will implement our Workforce Equity and Diversity Framework 2011-2015 with a focus on achieving or exceeding our employment target for people with a disability, and becoming a disability confident organisation with a focus on accessible work environments and improved capabilities around promoting mental health in the workplace.
Disability Advisory Group
The Disability Advisory Group will continue to advise Council on accessibility of Council services and operations. It will have new status within the organisation with representation on the new Equity and Diversity Leadership Group established under the Workforce Equity and Diversity Framework 2011-2015.
Target for employees with a disability
We will continue to review our target for the employment of people with a disability using the latest demographic and workforce participation data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and monitor and report on how we are performing. This target sits alongside our four other equal employment opportunity targets for women, people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people from a refugee background.
Recruitment and employee support partnerships
We will continue with our partnerships with WorkFocus Australia, Vision Australia and CRS Australia that assist with recruitment of a diverse workforce and support our employees.
Targeted recruitment and selection opportunities
We will continue advertising internal Band 2-4 roles to applicants who have a disability and shortlisting at least one candidate with a disability if selection criteria are met.
Reasonable Adjustments Policy
We will continue to promote the Reasonable Adjustments Policy which outlines processes for modifying workplaces to accommodate specific access requirements. We will continue to provide workplace modifications where required.
Office accommodation guidelines
Council's office accommodation guidelines will continue to include a specific design brief for accessibility that addresses access and inclusion in the design and construction of interior fitouts.
Participate in Prosperity program
We will continue to seek Queensland Government funding for community-based Participate in Prosperity (PiP) programs that assist people who face multiple barriers to finding employment and securing a stable and positive lifestyle for themselves and their families.
Wellness Centre programs
We will continue to offer accessible programs at our Wellness Centres and continue to train Wellness Centre staff in tailoring sessions to cater to the different needs of our diverse workforce. We will also continue to promote mental health initiatives through Wellness Centre programs.
Career guidance and targeted learning opportunities
Council will continue to support the career advancement of employees with a disability through targeted learning and career development opportunities.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Forum
We will continue our internal forum on the accessibility of ICT for employees and customers, providing guidance in procurement of new systems as well as retrofit solutions where there are problems with existing systems.
New initiatives or extensions
- Building career foundations. We will focus on working towards our employment target of 10.7% by assisting a wide range of work areas (both in Council and other Brisbane employers in our Prosperity Network) build supportive environments to successfully recruit and retain employees with a disability, supporting prospective employees to be job ready and competitive, and equipping employees to manage their careers.
- Work environments accessibility audit and retrofit plan. We will equip divisional staff with an easy to use audit tool (developed in New Initiative 3.1.2) so that they can assess all Council workplaces and develop a plan to retrofit problem areas.
- Improving psychological wellness. We will increase awareness of mental health in the workforce, develop and implement early intervention programs to support employees and improve team leaders' skills and confidence to support employees with mental health issues.
- Improving recruitment processes. In order to achieve Council's employment target for people with a disability, we will continue to advertise internal Band 2–4 positions through the disability employment network, partner with disability employment agencies, universities and other institutions to access applicants who have a disability, improve our ability to capture data about applicants with a disability and encourage existing employees with a previously undisclosed disability to identify in the Equity and Diversity survey.
- Review of Reasonable Adjustments Policy. We will review the effectiveness of our Reasonable Adjustments Policy and identify areas for improvement.
- Recruitment website. We will improve the way we present Council as equal employment opportunities Employer of Choice through our website and by advertising weekly to recruitment agencies.