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Reasonable Adjustments

Easy Steps for the Employer

Over 4 million people in Australia are living with a disability of some kind and so it’s logical to think that disability is a normal part of life and that making adjustments to accommodate is a normal part of employing people. Reasonable adjustments essentially allow for a flexible and barrier free working environment for all, regardless of whether or not you have a disability.

woman with cane tracing raised lettering with finger to check which door to enter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Reasonable Adjustment?
Reasonable adjustment involves modifying equipment and facilities or acquiring assistive technology to ensure that systems, equipment, and facilities to be used by all employees really can be used by all employees. In some cases the employee can bring adaptive equipment or technology with them but often the employer will acquire what is necessary as a reasonable adjustment.

Reasonable Adjustment and the Disability Discrimination Act
A reasonable adjustment is not exceptionally new or unusual to employers as each company should have already or will experience this in one way or another, whether it be a single mother asking for flexible working hours or someone who is terminally ill and requires additionally sick days.

In relation to reasonable adjustments, the Disability Discrimination Act is about maximising people’s ability to participate and not have their potential productivity limited unnecessarily. If a person with a disability needs some adjustment to be able to participate equally in all aspects of working life, and that adjustment could reasonably have been provided but was not, then a finding of indirect discrimination could follow (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2007).

Where to start?
It is recommended to contact JobAccess if you are starting a new job or even currently working as you may be eligible for an assessment that will determine what workplace adjustments you will require to be able to participate in all aspects of your job. If you do in fact qualify, you will be approved Employment Assistance Funding which is funding that provides employers of people with disability financial assistance to purchase a range of work related modifications and services (JobAccess, 2014).

Steps to follow to receive the funding
Step 1: Determine the type of assistance or modifications you will need
Step 2: Apply online via the application form
Step 3: Workplace modifications assessment – if an assessment is required, a JobAccess Adviser will arrange for a Assessor to conduct one to determine the most appropriate assistance.
Step 4: Outcome of the application – your application will be processed, either approved or declined and the outcome will then be advised accordingly.
Step 5: Purchase of assistance – if your application has been approved, you then can proceed with purchasing your modifications
Step 6: Claim on assistance – once the modifications have been purchased you can claim reimbursement through the Department of Employment IT Systems.

JobAccess is an Australian Government initiative that helps people with disability, employers, service providers and the community to access information about services, financial assistance and workplace solutions. You can find out more information on reasonable adjustments and workplace modifications on their website here: http://www.jobaccess.gov.au