Disability Action Plan 2015-17


The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is committed to the elimination of discrimination against people with disabilities, and as a central part of this commitment, we have developed this Disability Action Plan. This Disability Action

Plan reflects our obligations under the Disability Act 2006 (Vic) by:

  • reducing barriers to people with disabilities accessing the Commission’s goods, services and facilities
  • reducing barriers to people with disabilities obtaining and maintaining employment with the Commission
  • promoting inclusion and participation in the community of people with disabilities
  • achieving tangible changes in attitudes and practices, which discriminate against people with disabilities.

The Plan will also form part of the Commission’s overall strategy of meeting its obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) including the duty under section 15 of the Act to take steps to prevent and eliminate discrimination.

Disability Action Plan 2015-17 
(PDF, 204kb) | (DOC 302kb)

Disability Action Plan 2015-17 Easy English
(PDF 656kb) | (DOC 57kb)

Progress on implementation

Implementing 2014 access audits

Ensure actions identified in the 2014 premises and communications access audit are completed

The Commission will gain and maintain Scope Communication Access Accreditation. Completed Communication Access accreditation from Scope was achieved in January 2015. The Commission is currently negotiating a two-year accreditation review cycle with Scope that will include self-reviews for points of assessment, provision of disability awareness training sessions for staff, mystery customer evaluation conducted by Scope and payment of an annual licence fee.
Positive feedback is received from service users, stakeholders and the Disability Reference Group (DRG) on improved accessibility for people with disabilities. On track New disabled parking and access ramps were installed at the front of the building on Lygon Street. The 204 Lygon Street Carpark has clearly marked disabled carparks on each floor. An additional portable hearing loop has been installed at Reception. An automatic sensor has been installed to open the Reception sliding door when a person approaches the door from within our tenancy. Equipment/material to support the Communication Access accreditation from Scope has been purchased, for example communication boards and iPads. DRG meetings are now held on the ground floor to enable participants to exit the building in the event an evacuation is required.

Ensuring accessible information

Produce core Commission internal and external information materials in multiple formats.

Consult with DRG to develop criteria for determining and prioritising relevant information.

All core materials are available in appropriate formats. On track Consultation with DRG identified appropriate alternative formats and these have been produced for core materials since the Disability Action Plan (DAP) was finalised. The DAP has an introductory Auslan video from the Commissioner and is available in RTF, Easy English and PDF formats. All new materials are assessed for production in other formats and community members are encouraged to contact the Commission if they need specific information in a specific format.

Ensuring accessible events

Ensure that all external and internal events are accessible and that attendees' accessibility and support needs are met.

Consult with DRG to update checklist and feedback forms

Feedback from participants indicates they are confident that Commission events will meet their access needs. On track All internal and external Commission events are accessible. An accessibility checklist for events has been developed and finalised in consultation with the DRG.
Improved results in 2017 access audit. On track To be reported on.

Inclusion in education services

Identify and implement effective practices, tools and aids to improve access for people with disabilities to our training and education programs.

Consult with disability organisations and other stakeholder groups on what adjustments would be effective.

More people with disabilities who participate in our programs report that their access needs have been met effectively. On track Research has been conducted into relevant accessibility standards to which our Education and Consultancy Services unit should be held. A proposal has been developed and will be presented to the DRG.

Access to dispute resolution services

Review enquiries and complaints data to June 2015 to identify if people with some forms of disability are less likely to use dispute resolution services.

Consult with the DRG about improving dispute resolution services.

More people with disabilities who were previously underrepresented using dispute resolution services. On track An analysis of complainant demographics is being undertaken to identify which types of disability are underrepresented in terms of accessing dispute resolution. The dispute resolution process was discussed at the DRG meeting in June 2016, with feedback given. A customer satisfaction survey has been implemented to identify and address barriers in relation to accessing dispute resolution.

Participation in major projects

Incorporate an assessment of reasonable adjustments required for project and research methodologies to promote participation in these initiatives by people with disabilities. Work with the Communications Unit to assess and deliver communication requirements for all major projects in the Commission's business plan. Gather data on participation in Commission research by people with disabilities to use as a baseline to measure progress against.

People with disabilities know about and participate in all the Commission's major projects. On track

The Commission conducts six-monthly analyses/reports on complaints related to disability, including intersectional analyses related to, for example, disability and gender, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, age, country of birth.

Practice adjustments were been made to promote participation in major projects that include:

  • Report Racism
  • Independent Review into Victoria Police
  • Independent Review into MFB and CFA
  • Signs for Health
  • Disability Bench Book for Judicial Officers
  • Easy English guide to reporting crime

The Commission is drafting an updated project proposal pro forma to ensure reasonable adjustments are considered for all future projects.

Access to employment at the Commission

Consult on and implement best practice recruitment guidelines aimed at ensuring genuine employment opportunities for people with disabilities at the Commission, including having adjustments and resources in place when a person with a disability commences employment.

The percentage of staff disclosing their disability increases and they report that they have the resources needed to do their job. On track Advertisements for external vacancies at the Commission are placed in Careers@vicgov and ethicaljobs.com.au. Position descriptions include a section encouraging people from diverse backgrounds and people with a disability or mental illness to apply for vacant positions. We have responded to the needs of new staff or existing staff where they have disclosed a disability.

Improving staff capacity

Support staff to reflect on and improve their work with people with disabilities through ongoing professional development, including skills based training as appropriate for their role, and disability awareness training for all staff.

Results of survey (see action 11) show an improvement in confidence and a positive change in practice. On track The Commission is currently negotiating a program of regular disability awareness training for staff through Scope.
Improved results in 2017 access audit On track  

Inclusive work environment

Senior Managers will undertake training and professional development on effectove support and strategies to improve the retention and career development of employees with disabilities.

Senior managers complete training On track  
Knowledge gained through training is used to make changes in practice that lead to more employees with disabilities developing their careers through their work at the Commission. On track  

Reasonable adjustments

Make adjustments available to employees with a range of disabilities to enable them to do their job and participate in Commission activities, including making changes to online and other learning modules, meeting practices and facilities and Commission events.

Employees with a range of disabilities can fully participate in the working and social life of the Commission, regardless of the nature of their disability. On track Reasonable adjustments and resources are provided when a new employee or current employee discloses that they have a disability. These adjustments have include implementing recommendations from ergonomic assessments, adjusting desk heights, installation of specific software, installation of a sensor on the reception door to enable it to open automatically and selecting venues for Commission/staff functions with disability access and facilities.

Getting feedback

Implement a Diversity and Flexibility survey that can be held every two years to obtain information and staff attitudes and understanding of disability discrimination issues, including barriers and best practice in employment and management practices at the Commission.

Results of the survey are used to track learning and development needs for staff and to improve management and employment practices at the Commission. Not commenced The Commission is exploring options on the development and distribution of this survey, including consultations with disability organisations on what should be included.

Disability Reference Group

The Commissioner will seek advice and feedback from the Disability Reference Group on strategies to promote greater inclusion and participation in the community.

The Strategic Projects and Policy unit will enable the active participation of all members of the DRG in this role.

Feedback from DRG members that the Commission supports members' active participation, adapts Commission practices and reponds to advice on promoting inclusion and participation. Not commenced Enquiry and complaints data analysis for 2013-15 has been conducted to inform the DRG on disability systemic discrimination issues and work that the Commission has done under these areas.

At the October 2015 DRG meeting, the Commission conducted a consultation with DRG asking them to identify two priority areas on which the Commission could focus to improve enjoyment of rights for people with disabilities in Victoria. DRG identified employment and travel by majority vote. The Commission set out actions against each priority in a document circulated to the DRG. Some actions have been completed and the Commission continues its work against other actions set out in this document.

Recruitment will be underway in the coming weeks to establish the next DRG, after the completion of the 2014-16 DRG's term.

Promote and lead attitudinal change

The Commissioner will promote the positive contribution people with disabilities make to out community and economy in media releases, social media, speeches and presentations, networking events and through stakeholder relationships.

People with disabilties remain a priority in our next Strategic Plan. On track Stakeholder groups are regularly promoted through Commission channels, including profiles of disability advocates in eNews, support at VALID expo, social media and public events.
Included and evaluated in the Commissioner's Stakeholder Engagement Plans from 2015-17. On track  

Advocating for improvements across government and the community

Continue to pursue law, policy and practice reform on issues affecting the rights of people with disabilities including barriers faced by women with disabilities, Aboriginal people with disabilities and other groups. In determining priorities, we will consult with the DRG and other stakeholders.

Systemic projects achieve a reduction in barriers experienced by people with disabilities in key areas of public life (includes measuring progress against recommendations made to agencies in previous projects). On track
  • The Signs For Health project has provided advice to DHHS on updating their Language Services Policy to be inclusive of the needs of hospital patients who are Deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind.
  • The Disability Bench Book provides resources to judicial members on making adjustments and improving access to justice for people with disabilities.
  • Work stemming from the Held Back report continues to advocate for improved access to education.
  • Submission to national consultation on NDIS safeguarding and quality framework. The Commission has also engaged in consultation with stakeholders in relation to the NDIS.
  • The Commission made a submission to the Willing to Work inquiry and follow up work to improve access to employment
  • The Commission made an appearance at the Family and Community Development Committee as part of the second stage to the Parliamentary Inquiry into abuse in disability services.
  • The Commission’s submission to the Multi Purpose Taxi Scheme review advocated for improvements in point-to-point travel for people with disabilities.
  • The Commission participates in a number of advisory and consultative bodies across government:
    • The Commission is represented on the Victoria Police Disability Reference Group
    • Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission/Public Transport Victoria consultative committee
    • Accessibility Taxi Advisory Committee
    • Ministerial Forum for Taxi and Hire Car Services.

Extending the reach and impact of our education programs

We will work with people with disabilities organisations, peak bodies, advocacy and stakeholder groups to identify the needs of key groups and communities that our current programs and services are either not addressing or not having significant impact on. We will work with them to develop and deiver improvements to programs and approaches to achieve greater coverage and impact for people with disabilities and their carers and advocates and to better support them in self-advocacy.

Results from program / resource feedback from participants and their supporters shows that the education needs of a more diverse range of partcipants are being met to a greater degree. On hold A desktop review, including a review of who we delivered training sessions to in the disability sector across the past two years, has been completed. The Commission has identified key stakeholders to consult and develop partnerships with. We will continue to report on our progress.
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