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New job platform to connect people with disability in WA to progressive employers

Disability Services Minister Don Punch launched on Wednesday a new online job platform, which aims to address low employment rates of people living with disability in WA.

The platform, called Disability Jobs Connect, will help job-seekers with disability overcome hurdles encountered on the path to employment by connecting them with progressive employers.

Around 500 employers have already signed up to the platform. It was delivered by National Disability Services and WA-based tech company Studium, with funding from Lotterywest.

NDS WA state manager Coralie Flatters said the platform would tackle the under-representation in employment of people with disability, and would help them find “meaningful and sustainable” jobs.

The platform was customised in co-design with Disability Employment Services providers and jobseekers, including 21-year-old Anneka Bodt, who said stigma and discrimination were just some of the barriers to employment for people with disability.

Ms Bodt has proximal femoral focal deficiency, which means she uses a prosthetic leg, crutch and occasionally a wheelchair for mobility. She also has bipolar disorder.

“I think people judge me on my physical disability because that’s more obvious, but I’m also someone with bipolar disorder and that affects me 10 times more than my physical disability,” she said, describing her job hunting as “disheartening”.

The job platform will enable both jobseekers and employers to create a profile that showcases their values, skills and interests.

It will also give jobseekers control over how much information regarding their disability and access requirements they wish to disclose.

The median weekly income for people with disability is $465, compared to $950 for the general population, according to data from the Australian Network on Disability.

Graduates with disability take 61.5 per cent longer to gain employment than other graduates.

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