Our presentation to the Disability Royal Commission

On the 9 Dec 2020, we presented to the Disability Royal Commission around issues relating to employment. We talked about the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people with disability accessing employment and the EmployableQ Toolkit which helps organisations become more inclusive and accessible.

Access the EmployableQ Toolkit

Transcript

Melinda Zerner:

The case is that you haven't provided a statement in relation to this hearing, but you've provided some submissions which have gone into the commission, but for the purpose of today, there was an outline of evidence that was agreed between yourselves to be put into evidence today. Is that, right?

Hannah Morgan:

Yes

Nicky Bath:

Yes, Correct.

Melinda Zerner:

Commissioners, can I please ask that a copy of the outline of the national LGBTI Health Alliance, which can be found in tender bundle Part A, at tab 25, that this be tendered into evidence, and then it'd be marked as exhibit 9.17? [crosstalk 00:00:38]

Chair:

The outline of evidence can be marked in that way.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you, chair. There are a number of indexes there's five indexes to the outline which are included in tender bundle Part A, at tabs 26 through to 30. I also request that those annexes are attended into evidence, and that they be marked as 9.17.1 through to 19.17.5.

Chair:

I think you mean 9.17.5.

Melinda Zerner:

I do thank you.

Chair:

On that basis, the answer is yes.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you chair. What I'd like to do today, is really look at two parts of your evidence. The first is really in relation to, some theory about intersectionality in relation to LGBTI issues and disability. And in the second part, I'd like to explore with you, a fairly new resource and which was launched by the Alliance, is that okay if I call it the Alliance?

Hannah Morgan:

Yes.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you, by the Alliance on the fourth of November, 2020. [crosstalk 00:01:48]So perhaps if I turn first you Ms. Bath, as being the CEO, can you just give us a brief overview of what the Alliance does and what it's all about?

Nicky Bath:

Thank you. So the Alliance for the National Health Peak Organization in Australia, for LGBTI community controlled health organization. We provide health related programs, services, and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and other sexuality, gender, bodily diverse people, and communities. We also have regular members, affiliate members, associate members, as well as individual members. And we recognize that people's genders, bodies, relationships, and sexualities affect their health and wellbeing in every domain of their life. The Alliance's purpose is to provide a national focus, to improve health and well being outcomes for LGBTI people through policy advocacy, representation, research, and also capacity building. And we're working across mental health, suicide prevention, palliative care, ageing and aged care, disability, and we have a broad policy advocacy agenda.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you Ms. Bath. I understand there's been a recent name change, is that right? Or about to be?

Nicky Bath:

Yes, indeed. Our AGM occurred just over a week or so ago now, and we will be known as LGBTIQ+ Health Australia.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you. I might turn to Mr. Comensoli now, and I just wanted to explore a little bit about this concept which we hear about of being a minority stress. In relation to the LGBTI community. Before we get to disability, if we can talk about that minority stress, please.

Daniel Comensoli:

Yes, thank you. So minority stress was a theory that was first posited by Dr. Ilan Meyer, and it's a conceptual framework for understanding the significant health disparities that LGBTI people continue to experience to this day. It's just really helpful in explaining that when individuals are a member of a stigmatized minority group, that the disharmony, if you like, between those individuals and the dominant culture, can be onerous, and the stress that derives from that process can be quite significant. So, it's a really useful tool to explain that the unique stresses that we're persistently exposed to, stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. In combination, they create quite a hostile and stressful social environment. And because of that, that then leads to heightened incidences of mental health issues, and an increased disease burden throughout our communities.

Melinda Zerner:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Daniel Comensoli:

Thank you. Nicky, did you have anything to add to that?

Nicky Bath:

No, [inaudible 00:04:46]

Melinda Zerner:

Just on that, in regards to that ongoing minority stress in relation to identity. In regards to LGBTI. There's also this concept of hiding identity, in regards. Because, in some respects, for some members of the community it's an invisible identity. Is that right?

Daniel Comensoli:

Absolutely. I think there is research evidence that shows that for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in the workplace, they do engage in identity disclosure and concealment strategies. In order to avoid experiences of discrimination on the one hand, and the need for self integrity on the other. On the subject of minority stress, there are some unique stresses that occur in the workplace for our communities. If I could just briefly go over some of those stresses, for the benefit of the Commission. The first one is actual experiences of discrimination that people face, and that can be conceptualized to range from subtle forms, for example, being excluded from workplace social events, to more overt forms, so slurs that occur in the workplace. The second one is the expectations of stigma, and that arises from broader social, cultural, stigmatization of LGBTI people more broadly. And third, there is internalized hetero sexism, and that is the internal denigration of being LGBTI. And lastly, as you alluded to, there is the concealment of identity, or histories, or experiences.

Daniel Comensoli:

And what we see in the research is that there are three main identity management strategies that sexuality diverse people will utilize in the employment context. So the first one of those strategies is counterfeiting, and that really just refers to presenting a false identity that's not lesbian, gay, or bisexual. The second one is avoiding, and that really just involves actively avoiding any discussion of their personal lives, their families, their relationships, and also that involves maintaining quite strict boundaries around our work and personal life. And then finally there's also integrating, which is being open and honest about their identity and experience. And I think it's reasonable to assume that we can apply that to transgender diverse people, and intersex people in the workplace. What we see when people utilize these concealment strategies in the workplace, we know that that actually results in poorer mental health outcomes, and decrease in job satisfaction, and commitment. Also, importantly, I think that constant vigilance around interacting with others in the workplace, for fear of harm and expectation of rejection, that also results in poorer mental health outcomes.

Melinda Zerner:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Can I just pause you there, Mr. Comensoli? I just wanted to go back to the counterfeiting, and avoiding, and those particular issues. There was a witness who gave evidence earlier in the week, and he had said that he was concerned about the clothes that he wore, or how he did his hair. Because he was gay, and he was concerned about that. Is that what you're talking about in the sense of really not putting themselves out there, as to what perhaps they may present themselves outside of the workplace?

Daniel Comensoli:

Yes, and I think that relates to just providing a safe, welcoming, and affirming workplace environment. Regardless of one's sexuality, gender, or intersex status. So yes, that's correct.

Melinda Zerner:

Okay. And it's the case isn't it, that we're talking here before we even get to a disability, so you're dealing with the issue of LGBTI identity. And I wanted to just pass now to Ms. Morgan, and we only come to the EmployableQ toolkit in a moment, but part of that process was that you actually had a co-design process, and you were talking with people who are LGBTI, and also had a disability. And I'm just wondering from those people you spoke to, was that their experience in relation to the workforce issues that they faced?

Hannah Morgan:

Yes, absolutely. Certainly suddenly it was this constant navigation of what they could talk to people at work about, how they could present at work, disclosing or not disclosing, which we'll be speaking a bit more about today. And I, if you don't mind, I'd like to use a quote that came out of the research with the co-design team, just to illustrate this point further. The quote is as follows; "There is this whole issue of having to decide. Am I going to divulge or disclose my disability, or my sexuality, or gender identity? And then you have to assess; how is everyone going to respond?" So it's this constant thinking process, which is exhausting that goes into just really showing up at work.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you. And I think in that evidence outline there's a quote there from an academic [inaudible 00:10:09] and the quote is, "To display or not to display. To tell or not to tell. To let on, or not let on. To lie, or not to lie. And each case, to whom, how, when, and where.". So that seems to be what you're saying there in regards to that constant decision making.

Hannah Morgan:

Absolutely.

Melinda Zerner:

And it's the case isn't it, that in relation to coming out, it's not just once that someone comes out in the workforce for example, but if there are new colleagues, or there's a new event, et cetera, so it's maybe multiple times that that needs to occur.

Hannah Morgan:

That's correct. So, it's across different workplaces. It's not just workplaces though, it's someone's whole life where they're navigating these really difficult communications around if they're safe or not, to actually share about the different parts of themselves. What we've heard from some of the research we did in our project, is that people with disability, they see themselves sometimes as a burden to an employer. There are many things to potentially disclose if they choose to, and there are different needs that might need to be met in an employment context. So it's really sometimes about making choices around disclosing one thing over another.

Melinda Zerner:

And just picking up on that issue, I'll come back to you Ms. Bath, but just picking up on that issue of burden, Ms. Morgan, we've heard evidence today from a young man who has a significant physical disability. He was explaining that with that disability he felt like he had a burden. But is it that you're saying that people that also have a disability, with LGBTI and that identity, that's compounding the issue of that feeling of being a burden on an employer?

Hannah Morgan:

Absolutely. That's correct. I think it's important to say also that people don't always have the capacity to be open about their sexuality at work. In addition to being open about their disability. And we do have to also recognize that to disclose, or not to disclose sometimes isn't a choice for people. So it is quite complicated. There are very diverse experiences across the LGBTIQ spectrum, as well as across the disability space as well, so that needs to be acknowledged.

Melinda Zerner:

Would that be, for example, a trans person or transgender, that perhaps can't pass off as their identified gender? Is that what you're talking about there?

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, that could be the case. Or someone with a physical disability, where it's evident they do have a disability. You don't get to choose, but there are many also invisible disabilities. So people sometimes mask their symptoms, and they're having to maybe just endure the conditions of a workplace that might not be suitable to them, which has mental health outcomes.

Melinda Zerner:

We've heard a little bit about invisible disability. We've touched on that, and we've got visible disability. But the same seems to be the case in the LGBTI community, in the sense that we've got invisible identity, and then we've got visible identity. And it's that interplay of how that might roll out in the workplace, and the acceptance of those people in the workplace.

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, absolutely. Even for myself, I identify as queer, but certainly I'm viewed by society as heterosexual for the most part. So, I perhaps wouldn't attract as much stigma and discrimination in the first instance, but then also for myself, then I'm wondering, "okay, how much do I say, when do I tell people, when is that environment safe?". Yeah, there's really individual components that need to be considered, and it's not just one lens that you can apply. Everyone has different circumstances and, there are different levels of privilege, within each of those communities as well.

Melinda Zerner:

Okay. And when we're talking about invisibility or disability, and the concept of burden, is it your experience from dealing with those people in the EmployableQ toolkit and the development of that, that there was, and I think you may have referred to it as "it's tiresome", of do I make this decision? Do I tell them about my disability, or do I tell them about my identity, or do I tell them about both? So it's that decision making and constant mental chatter that people are going through. Is that right?

Hannah Morgan:

That's right, and I was actually speaking to one of the co-design team members recently who wanted me to [crosstalk 00:14:57] go into the condition, that they've actually experienced, what they described as almost Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from having to go from job, to job, to job, and encountering those barriers of discrimination. For this person they don't even feel that they are able to talk about themselves being LGBTI, because they're just constantly navigating, and they're feeling quite traumatized by the process of having to do this time and time again.

Melinda Zerner:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). All right. I'd like to move now if we can to the EmployableQ toolkit, inclusion toolkit. Perhaps briefly, if we can just tell the commissioners what it's about, and if either Ms. Bath or Ms. Morgan if you want to just tell us a little bit about what it is.

Nicky Bath:

So yes, I can talk to the outline, and Hannah will be able to go into much greater detail, thank you. So, the Alliance entered into a partnership with Disability Employment Australia, and we applied for an ILC grant. And so it was an NDIS funded project called as you say, EmployableQ. And the focus for the project was to be able to scale up LGBTI health organizations, in being able to better engage with and employ LGBTI people with disabilities. So the outcome really from that project was to increase economic participation for LGBTI people with disability. There was a co-design team that was established to ensure that all of the resources reflect the needs of people who are both LGBTI, and who have a lived experience of disability, and add to the project. As you have said, launched in November was the EmployableQ disability employment inclusion toolkit.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you, and we'll come to the toolkit shortly, but I'm interested as to what was the impetus of actually starting this project? Of seeing that there was a need was there, that you felt?

Nicky Bath:

Well, sort of sitting in my role at the Alliance, I certainly recognized that this is an area that we need to ourselves work within, and also recognizing that for many of our members, our full members, the LGBTI community controlled health organizations are often quite poorly resourced. This sort of resource would enable them to undertake different types of recruitment practices, which were more in line for us to be able to engage with and employ LGBTI people with disability. So it was certainly needs driven from experience, and needs driven from being able to support our members, which is our role as a peak, and recognizing that non-employment is a key issue for many across our communities, and certainly for members of our communities with disability.

Melinda Zerner:

And we'll go to the toolkit shortly, but is it something that other employers, not necessarily LGBTI organizations, could have a look at and be used as a resource?

Nicky Bath:

Absolutely, I think the tools are very transferable outside of the LGBTI Health Organization's settings. One thing I would just note with regards to that, the transferable nature of those tools, is that we would advise for cultural training to also center around that for employers. Around making employment and workplaces safe for LGBTI people. The tool really focuses much more on disability rather than looking at LGBTI issues per se. [inaudible 00:18:46] is an added kind of layer that needs to occur. One of the reasons that I say that, and it's an issue that also comes back around the discussions that we've been having so far around intersectionality, and that notion of risk assessment that happens in the areas of all of our lives, but work needs to be a safe place. We spend most of our time at work, and at work, I think we have guards down much more than if we were in public places that we knew were unsafe.

Nicky Bath:

And it's important to say that even for resilient organizations like ourselves, you know we're quite a resilient bunch here at the Alliance we live in a kosher environment, and we're actually experiencing some issues for some of our staff with regards to things that have been said to them, the way they've been looked at in the environment that we're working in. And so those practices of the cultural safety in the workplace are really, really important, so that people feel safe and able to bring themselves to work. I think if that's our experience given who we are, within organizations whereby this isn't part of the wallpaper, that these are even more complex issues.

Melinda Zerner:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And as an organization, I understand that you've really learned some things out of this process. And one of the examples was in relation to disability employment services, and that's actually something that can be utilized by an organization like yourself. Is that right?

Nicky Bath:

Absolutely. I think we have learned a great deal. Even [inaudible 00:20:25] basic things that we have been able to do better, most recently in some recruitment rounds, even thinking about how we've written job adverts, and a whole range of things that really should have been enveloped as best practice in recruitment for our organization. So it's been a really significant, and much appreciated learning curve internally, as well as the development of those [inaudible 00:20:50] so we're using those resources, and the kits internally. And just yesterday, we were talking about how we delve into that more deeply, and share our learnings as we go on that journey.

Melinda Zerner:

And I'm interested, you saw a need, you applied for the grant, you did that and that was organizational driven. I'm just wondering, in relation to data and the intersection issue in regards to LGBTI people, and people with a disability, and perhaps Mr. Comensoli, you could address this. Just in regards to the data that's available, of people suffering a disability, who also identify as LGBTI community. And I understand it's limited data but perhaps you can just tell us a little bit about that.

Daniel Comensoli:

Yes, I was just going to start my answer by saying there is limited data and research evidence around the experiences of LGBTI people with disability. I would just say that it's an ongoing issue for us, the access to robust, accurate, timely data. But despite that limited data and research, it is clear that LGBTI people with a disability experience worse employment outcomes. They are more likely to have no employments, less likely to have full employment, and tend to have lower incomes. But just speaking more broadly, we do have a real lack of national population data collection with relevant LGBTI data indicators. And that's really unfortunate, because that data can actually be used to inform service delivery and planning. And what we see is that LGBTI people are not counted in the national census. And that's really difficult for us, because we actually don't have a clear picture of how many LGBTI people, and LGBTI people with disability are in Australia, and that has a flow on effect. And what we see is that we don't have those indicators in the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing, and Carers, and also the standardized disability flag of mainstream services.

Daniel Comensoli:

And so the Alliance is really calling for a more LGBTI inclusive data collection practices, because currently these inadequate data collection practices, they perpetuate this cycle of invisibility. And as data informs evidence based policy, This exclusion of LGBTI people with disability can actually lead to adverse public policy outcomes, that fail to address the unique needs and experiences of LGBTI people with disability. And just finally, as I articulated in our submission that we provided, I think together with an LGBTI inclusive, ABS survey and census, that will really help build a better picture of LGBTI people with disability in Australia, including their employment outcomes. And it'll help us understand the intersectional needs of LGBTI people with disability more fully, in the workplace.

Melinda Zerner:

Ms. Morgan I might ask you, the lacking of the data, but you actually had the opportunity of working with those 25 people with lived experience with disability. I'm just wondering if you can perhaps give us some idea as to perhaps, for example, just two or three primary issues that you saw that these people face. What ware the challenges that they had?

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, certainly. I think primarily, it's about accessing jobs. So the recruitment piece was a huge piece that people. Certainly there were lots of discussions around simple things that organizations can do, which makes recruitment a safer experience for people. And that's things like looking at alternatives to traditional interview processes, and also being quite explicit when you're advertising for jobs around what we can offer, in terms of access and inclusion.

Melinda Zerner:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Hannah Morgan:

The second thing I think, is about creating that culture of inclusion. So, what we heard time, and time again, is really the onus is always on the person with the disability, or at least from LGBTI, to actually educate others. And that is incredibly tiresome. And people then decide not to ask for what they need, because they do need employment, and they will forego actually getting basic access needs met. That's probably one of the second key issues. Another issue that was raised that's quite important, is around the fact that there's a lot of work out there, around disability inclusion, particularly in the workplace. And what they really said to us was, don't be tokenistic. Don't just adopt these templates, adopt these toolkits in a way that isn't thoughtful, that isn't consultative, you really actually need to bring a co-design process into developing some of these work within organizations. And that actually takes a lot of time. It requires organizations to take the onus, and actually get training in, and it's really important that people with disability in organizations don't carry the burden of having, again, to actually educate others in that space. So, they were some of the issues that came up.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you. I'm interested, and as I understand it, there are tools out there. But in relation to LGBTI toolkit, why specifically for this community? So why couldn't you just adopt another tool that may be available? Why did you feel the need to have a specific toolkit for the LGBTI community?

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, I think that's a really great question, and there's a couple of different reasons. So it's really important for people to actually see themselves in the resources. They see that they're represented, they can relate to the stories that are told, or the case studies that are used. And also importantly, that there are resources and tools that also are providing inclusive language. So, if you're reading stories, or looking at the various tools out there, you don't really see how they can directly apply to you. They're not relatable and they're not as relevant. And there's just a real need for cultural competency around this intersection. And it's important to note this is not the only intersection. You might be someone with a disability, who's LGBTI, who's also a person of color. So there's so many different variances and things to consider. But this was the scope of the project work that we did do.

Melinda Zerner:

Thank you. Ms. Morgan, just in regards to the development of the toolkit, I understand that you had workshop sessions and you talked about the experiences with people that were living with a disability and LGBTI, and that there was a review of a number of resources as I understand it. And looking at guidance on changes, and improvement, and accessibility checking. So there's a whole process behind this toolkit. And it brought those people along with you, as part of that co-design, is that right?

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, that's correct. We had a year to do the project. And overall we spoke to over 100 different people around this issue. So we had our established co-design team, whom we met with regularly. We ran round table discussions, we did one on one consultations for people who weren't able to, perhaps, engage in a longer process of co-design. We spoke with LGBTI organizations, disability employment services. We also ran a survey to find out more about what people who work in LGBTI organizations think would be helpful. So all that work together was really a lot of consultation, and also coming back regularly to the co-design team to check, to see, is this sounding right? Does this seem like a good approach? Consideration of accessibility, and ensuring that the work that we do is accessible. That was throughout the project actually, that all the communications were actually accessible and the opportunities were accessible to actually get involved in the project.

Melinda Zerner:

Sounds like it was an incredibly collaborative approach and task over that 12 month period. I think what we'd like to do now is actually go to the website with the EmployableQ, and we might bring that up on the screen. And we'll go to four pillars and just discuss a little bit about that.

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, sure. [crosstalk 00:29:47]

Melinda Zerner:

So, this is the website and if we go down, we'll scroll right down to the bottom of the page in the first instance, and we'll go to the four pillars.

Hannah Morgan:

So, Yeah, I can speak to the four pillars and how they...[crosstalk 00:30:02]

Melinda Zerner:

If you can just break briefly speak to the four pillars, and then I thought what we might do is play the video, and then we'll come back to the four pillars. So perhaps just give a brief introduction to the four pillars, we'll play the video, and then we'll come back to those four pillars.

Hannah Morgan:

Right. So these are the four pillars. The four areas that we identified as being very important to creating workplaces that are safe and inclusive. So pillar one is creating a culture [inaudible 00:30:28]. Pillar two, feeling safe in the workplace. Pillar three, accessible recruitment. Pillar four, access and adjustments at work.

Melinda Zerner:

Okay. And it's the case that there's a whole lot of tools behind each of those, and we'll come back, but if we can scroll up the screen a little bit now, and I asked the operator if we could please play the video.

Ruby:

I think this toolkit will help employers just learn. Firstly, just how many barriers already exist, that are stopping people with disabilities from being able to get through the door. Let alone be recognized, and work, and be able to contribute as fully as everybody else in the space.

Jarad:

It's all about shifting perceptions and ideals, and even changing how someone can perceive someone.

Grace:

It'll allow them to go from, "We should probably employ these people because it's the right thing to do" to, "These people, these employees, are great assets to the team. We know how to include them,".

Hayden:

You need to practice what you preach, if you're talking about inclusion of LGBTI+ people, then that needs to include everyone, and that includes people with disabilities.

Video Narrator:

Despite best intentions, many workplaces are struggling to be inclusive and accessible to LGBTI+ people with disabilities With many unaware of the scope of the problem, which is why we've created the EmployableQ toolkit. A non-prescriptive set of resources to help you make your workplace, the inclusive, welcoming, and safe space you know it can be. Built upon the four pillars of inclusion, safety, recruitment, and accessibility, and co-designed by a group of dedicated LGBTI+ people with disabilities. The EmployableQ toolkit makes accessibility accessible, for new and existing employees within your organization. And helps to break down barriers, so that LGBTI+ people with disabilities can find work, and so that you can find your next great employee. By gearing your recruitment process towards inclusivity and accessibility, and by regularly checking in with your staffs needs, not only will you attract more applicants; you'll encourage existing staff to bring their whole self to work. Creating a better workplace and world for everyone.

Hayden:

When you're a disabled person, and your LGBTI+, you're going to have both sets of marginality that interplay with your movement through everyday society, and that's also going to occur in the workplace.

Ruby:

By using this toolkit, I believe organizations are really sending a message that they want people like me now, and that they think we're worthy, and they think that we deserve to be able to connect with our peers, and with the broader LGBTQIA+ community.

Grace:

It's important to feel safe to bring your whole self to work. Because if you can't, you're not going to bring your best self to work. Your whole self is your best self.

Thomas:

We will be able to fit in well.

Imogen:

We will be able to fit in well.

Thomas:

And you'd be able to have someone like me.

Video Narrator:

It's easier than you might think. And more important than you might realize. Start by downloading the EmployableQ toolkit today.

Melinda Zerner:

We can just go back to the website briefly please, thank you. And we'll just scroll down to the four pillars. When there was reference to downloading the EmployableQ disability employment inclusion kit, commissioners I just note that document 9.17.1 is that toolkit. and it's about 207 pages. But online it's accessible by just clicking basically onto one of the pillars, and I thought we might just do that very briefly. If the operator can please click on to pillar four, which is access and adjustments at work, please. Just to scroll down the page a little bit, please. And so what that does is takes us to other links, and what we might do is click on to our 4.2 please. And just scrolling up a little bit please.

Melinda Zerner:

Miss Morgan, this particular tool, it's got the ability hasn't it that employers can go into each of those pillars, and bring up resources that they can use in the workplace. Is that right?

Hannah Morgan:

That's correct, yes.

Melinda Zerner:

And this is an example of that particular, in relation to index for access. There's a number of different tools and examples, and so just looking at the accessible documents, if we can zoom into that a little bit please. And so what we can see there, is how to implement the adjustment so there are tips and tools about that. But then there's also costs and funding of implementation et cetera for that. And that's just one small example of the sorts of tools that are available in that 207 page document, is that right?

Hannah Morgan:

That's correct.

Melinda Zerner:

Excellent. All right. Now, that would be helpful if we could take that off the screen please, and just return to our witnesses. I want to conclude with you Ms. Bath, as to where to now? You've got this resource it's been launched, it's out there with the LGBTI community, what's the plan for it?

Nicky Bath:

Two responses to that I suppose, one is the implementation from Alliance perspective, and sharing that journey with others as we do that, so that we can encourage uptake of the toolkit. We will be looking for additional ongoing funds to encourage people to implement the toolkit, but we also need to evaluate it, and make sure that that evaluation is really rigorous, to see how it's working. And then there's that issue that we've touched on earlier around broader rollout, and how that can be a transferable product. Given the time and energy that's gone in there, to getting other sectors and employers up taking, and using the resource. As I said before though, we really can mark, that for that toolkit, the EmploymentQ toolkit to be used in other sectors, there really is a need for that cultural safety, inclusive practice training, and to sit for those organizations. I think that's an ongoing other piece of work that we need to do around, how do we get consistency in funding to support LGBTI people with disability, through NDIS plans, et cetera. That high level advocacy work that we need to be doing. And of course, how will this sit within the new disability strategy, that will be coming our way?

Melinda Zerner:

Excellent. Thank you. That brings me to the conclusion of the questions that I had for you, so I'm very, very grateful for the time, and energy, and effort that you've put into providing your evidence today. I'm going to hand back to the chair to see if the commissioners have any questions for you.

Nicky Bath:

Thank you.

Daniel Comensoli:

Thank you.

Chair:

Thank you very much. I'll start with Commissioner Galbally, and ask if Commissioner Galbally has any questions.

Commissioner Galbally:

No questions, but thank you very much. I really found that very valuable.

Nicky Bath:

Thank you.

Chair:

Thank you. Commissioner Atkinson?

Commissioner Atkinson:

No thank you. I've got the website up on the screen, and it's very user friendly, thank you.

Chair:

Commissioner Ryan?

Commissioner Ryan:

No thank you Mr. Chairman, [inaudible 00:38:35] have a good look at the website [inaudible 00:38:38]

Chair:

Being something of a Luddite, I like to have things in hard copy, and I think what I've got is one of the exhibits in hard copy. I'm just interested, I'm looking for example, a document that is headed employable, engaging with disability employment services. And it explains a pathways to or from DES, Disability Employment Services. Is that text on those issues, is that something developed by you, or was it something taken from another publication, or in collaboration with someone? I asked because it actually seems to be quite clear expositions of some of the general principles that I've been quite anxious to understand.

Hannah Morgan:

Yeah, we worked in collaboration with [inaudible 00:39:30], which is a disability employment service to develop that resource. And so it was a collaboration with them, and they guided us around to including that, and also provided very generously case studies for us as well, which actually capture the experiences of LGBTI people.

Chair:

So you inserted into the general proposition some examples that are specifically relevant to the LGBTIQA+ community?

Hannah Morgan:

That's correct.

Chair:

And the same thing I take it can be said for the document which is headed "access and adjustment" request form, that contains quite detailed information on where job access can be found. That was done in the same way, was it?

Hannah Morgan:

Yes, we research in consultation with other people from the disability sector as well, so the consultation process was quite broad, and we tried to integrate all that feedback into that document.

Chair:

Well that provides some very useful information on what job access can actually provide. Speaking for myself it's the first time I've seen it presented that way, and very clear. Thank you very much for giving evidence. We appreciate your work, and also your willingness to assist the Royal Commission so thank you very much for coming today.

Hannah Morgan:

Thank you, on behalf of us all for having us here today. And to [inaudible 00:41:12] this really important part of our community. Thank you very much for your time and for listening to us.

Chair:

Thank you.

Hannah Morgan:

Thank you.

Daniel Comensoli:

Thank you.

Chair:

[inaudible 00:41:20]

Melinda Zerner:

Commissioners, we'll just have a short break for about five minutes, and return with our final [inaudible 00:41:25]

Chair:

Yes, we'll take that break for about five minutes.

 

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