Navigating Invisible disability

How we think about disability

More than 4 million people in Australia live with disability. More than a quarter have a mental health or psychiatric condition or chronic medical condition which could be considered an invisible disability. Our focus is on supporting employers to become disability confident and focus on what people can do, rather than what they cannot.

 

Helping employers be disability confident

There are certain myths that persist around disability in the workplace. For example, that accommodating workplace adjustments is expensive, or that the person might pose a workplace health and safety risk.

At MAX, we often speak to employers who are afraid of getting it wrong.

Over time, the employers we work with to place people into jobs, come to understand those perceptions are untrue.

We aim to have well-informed, productive discussions with our employer partners about hiring talent with disability – whether that is about training and support we can provide, free workplace assessments or accessing government resources.

 

The world of invisible disability

In 2019, we worked with thousands of Australians with invisible disabilities such as: acquired brain injury, bipolar disorder and autism. We also helped people with physical conditions which limit their ability, but are also invisible – conditions such as Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain.

For employers, this can be a difficult concept to navigate. The impact of a psychiatric condition, physical impairment or intellectual disability will present differently in each individual and for some, the employment barriers may be more challenging to overcome if they are experiencing multiple health concerns.

 

Improved awareness leads to more inclusivity

When applying for work, some people are reluctant to disclose an invisible disability for fear of affecting their chances of employment.

By upskilling industry partners with the right training and knowledge, MAX can remove barriers to employment, to give people seeking work every chance, and help build more inclusive, diverse workforces we can all benefit from.