Striving to establish itself as a preferred employer, this NSW Government department realised that the pathway to achieving this includes increasing the employment of people with a disability, increasing diversity, and creating inclusive spaces where all people feel included and supported.
To achieve this, the Department recognised that its workplaces must go beyond simple legislative compliance and must be inclusive to the broadest range of abilities, preferences and needs. The physical spaces must be supported by inclusive policies, culture and technology
As building compliance and regulatory legislation falls short of delivering equitable and inclusive workspaces Centre for Inclusive Design (CfID) developed a bespoke approach to site assessment with the goal of providing information on barriers to inclusion and suggested remedies. This included the development of a rating system to allow the comparison of all five sites.
The heuristic site assessments. evaluate how staff and clients interact with, and within, the organisation, as well as identifying the points of exclusion that create barriers to access and participation. The assessments include sensory mapping and a high-level assessment of primary ICT used across those sites.
The department is now armed with a clear road map to adjust spaces, processes, and culture to promote better inclusion. They can identify areas in which to make quick and cost-effective wins, whilst also having clarity on critical issues that require urgent attention. Those who work in, or visit these buildings, will face less barriers to inclusion leading to great participation and equality.
The information revealed in these reports will allow for the development of consistent information about each workspace. This will allow staff to self select (where possible) the site that most meets their individual needs.
By addressing these points of exclusion, the organisation can confidently recruit people with a disability and or varied needs and preferences, assured that they have the spaces, process and culture to support the new recruits.
By actioning the report, the Department will negate potential legal risks, and showcase their employer brand and reputation moving positively towards their goal of being a preferred and inclusive government employer.