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Title: The diversity and complexity of disability: Emphasising ability not disability
Contributor(s): Smith-Ruig, Theresa  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: Nearly one in five Australians has some form of disability. Yet in the current climate of a skills shortage and an ageing population, only 49 per cent of people with a disability are employed compared with 77 per cent of the non-disabled population (ABS 2006). The policy of diversity management or managing diversity (MD) in organisations in Australia is vet to openly embrace the employment of people with a disability. There is limited empirical evidence from Australia detailing the issues surrounding the employment of people with a disability; the majority of the research has been conducted in the United Kingdom and the United States. One of the key problems associated with studying the area of disability is that there are many different forms of disability. This makes it difficult to synthesise the research and even more difficult for organisations trying to design and implement disability-related initiatives. This chapter canvasses a range of definitions of disability. It provides a snapshot of disability in Australia, followed by a brief outline of the federal legislation that exists to protect the rights of people with a disability, including in the area of employment. The remainder of the chapter reviews the literature on disability and diversity, describing the major themes in the literature, the business case for employing people with a disability, research into the treatment of disabled people in organisations, the barriers faced by disabled people in finding and maintaining employment, and the emerging area of corporate culture and disability. This review highlights the complexity of the issues surrounding the employment of people with disabilities and points to areas where further research is needed to better inform both public policy and employment decisions that emphasise ability, not disability.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Managing Diversity in Australia: Theory and Practice, p. 205-220
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd
Place of Publication: North Ryde, Australia
ISBN: 9780070146273
Field of Research (FOR): 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 920403 Disability and Functional Capacity
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
UNE Business School

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