Week is about giving fair go

THERE'S nothing worse than feeling excluded.

That's why Disability Action Week, which runs through until this Friday and advocates inclusion for all, is so important.

The theme of this year's week is "Empower, enable, everybody".

It's a philosophy Gladstone Regional Council community development officer Andrea Hughes suggested the community adopt.

"It's an excellent time to consider how we as individuals and as a community can make this area more inclusive for people with a disability," Ms Hughes said.

"It's vitally important that we are welcoming to all people, accepting of differences and recognise the contributions of all community members."

What defines a disability is quite broad, said Community Solutions disability employment service team leader Maja Muller.

"The spectrum is quite large of what defines a disability. It might be someone who's suffered a workplace injury, someone's who hearing or vision impaired. It can even include conditions like ADHD, depression and anxiety."

Ms Muller urged employers to consider hiring through Community Solutions. The not-for-profit's disability employment service places jobseekers with "long-term barriers" in the workforce and provides support on the job and "from the wings".

"With what's happening in Gladstone at the moment, with so many people moving to industries, a lot of the smaller businesses are finding it difficult to get staff."

She suggested alternatives like job-sharing - hiring two staff who couldn't work a full load to split the hours usually required for one position.

"Think outside the square and give someone a go that maybe you wouldn't have considered previously."

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