Commitment to Disability Employment Sector Recognised
12 August 2013 at 10:44 am
Three people from New South Wales have been recognised for their contributions to Australia’s disability employment sector.
Dr Vivienne Riches, Dr Mark Bagshaw and Suzanne Colbert were inducted into the Disability Employment Australia’s Hall of Fame in Adelaide.
Dr Riches was recognised for her contribution to improving the quality of life for people with disability in Australia, particularly to people with intellectual disability.
One of her most innovative contributions was the development and validation of the I-CAN Supports Needs Assessment Instrument, and skills-based instruction strategies.
Her work contributed to the Principles for the Disability Services Act 1986.
She has also led the development of numerous employment related training packages, and contributed to research projects supported by Disability Employment Australia.
Dr Bagshaw was recognised for his advocacy of change for people with disability, especially in the areas of employment and accessibility.
He is an effective and longstanding advocate for people with disability, after acquiring a significant disability at age 16.
His message is simple and effective: “It makes good economic sense for every country to tap the talents of people with disability. The compelling reason for doing this is improving the economic bottom line.”
Suzanne Colbert was recognised for supporting the Australian business sector to build disability confidence.
Over the past 10 years Suzanne Colbert has worked with hundreds of organisations to help them implement systems and knowledge to build their disability confidence.
She spends the majority of her time assisting business leaders, politicians and the media to understand the business case for including people with disability as employees, customers and stakeholders.
She has developed the successful ‘Stepping Into’ program which provides paid internships for students with disability.
Colbert is currently the founding CEO of the Australian Network on Disability (AND).
AND’s members employ approximately 10% of the Australian workforce.
The national awards started in 2010 and celebrate outstanding contributions to disability employment.
One in five Australians of working age have disability, but only 53% participate in the workforce compared with 81% for people without disability.
Australia’s Disability Employment Services currently assist approximately 140,000 people with disability to gain and maintain meaningful employment in the open labour market.