ACOLA report: Enhancing Disability Responsiveness

A new report from Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) outlines how training in all occupations can be more responsive to people with disability and highlights best practices.
The project, Ensuring Occupations are Responsive to People with Disability, explored the context and adequacy of training about disability in Australia and, through this work, ACOLA developed a Good Practice Guide and Action Plan that identified areas for action by all stakeholders, including all levels of government, professional bodies, employers, training bodies (i.e. VET and universities), and individuals. Fellow Professor Cathie Sherrington represented the Academy in the working group.
These areas for action also apply to ACOLA and the five Australian Learned Academies, including the Australian Academy for Health and Medical Sciences. We welcome the report, action plan and along with ACOLA and the other Learned Academies, have created a joint statement of commitment to contributing to a society inclusive of people with disability.
The project identified five key areas for action to drive improvements in the training occupations receive to improve outcomes for people with disability.
  1. Active participation: People with disability play a clear, visible and valued role in the leadership of the training
  2. Sector planning and actions: The training of occupations is tailored, timely and focused on the needs of workers and the community they serve, especially people with disability
  3. Training packages: People with disability have confidence in the skills and capabilities of all professionals to support them
  4. Knowledge collection: Australia has the knowledge to better include people with disability, monitor developments and progress to address disability responsiveness
  5. Government leadership: Australian governments share a collaborative approach to progressing an inclusive society.
All people have a right to fair and equitable access to services. While many people with disability successfully navigate services without impact, others experience exclusion, discrimination and marginalisation. We commit to developing and promoting disability responsiveness in our work. While we are not an education or training body, we will use our leadership role in Australia’s education and research landscape to encourage stakeholders to take action to be disability responsive in their professional and leadership capacities.

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