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District dedicated to building its disability workforce

International Day of People with Disability

December 2020

District dedicated to building its disability workforce

District dedicated to building its disability workforce

Anderson Parker relishes a challenge - on and off the court.

An emerging star in wheelchair basketball, Anderson, 22, won a bronze medal as a member of the Australian under 23s men's team at the last World Championships.

As a child, he was diagnosed with right congenital talipes equinovarus or clubfoot. Corrective surgery has left him with limited movement in his right foot.

This year, he joined the team at Sydney Local Health District as its first Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

"I want to empower people with a disability. My job is to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace," Anderson said.

"I strive to break down any barriers that might exist, to support staff to fulfil their roles to the best of their ability and to be happy in their job," he said.

Today, is International Day of People with Disability which aims to boost awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

It's estimated more than 28,000 people with disability live in the District.

To mark the Day, the District held a virtual staff information session involving its Specialist Team for Intellectual Disability, the Disability Assessment and Rehabilitation Team for Young People, the Disability Inclusion & Advice Service and the Statewide Intellectual Disability Mental Health Outreach Service.

In his newly created role, Anderson is dedicated to enhancing the District's disability employment participation, by implementing measures to support employees with a disability.

At Balmain Hospital, for example, he arranged an AUSLAN interpreter for a deaf and non-verbal member of the Environmental Services team.

The District is continuing to build a solid foundation for 5.6 per cent disability employment participation in the District by 2025.

The development of the Disability Inclusion Workforce Action Plan is key - a blueprint which will steer the District towards achieving its goal.

It's a project Anderson is helping to bring to fruition.

"It will focus on increasing the capacity and capabilities of managers as well as staff to support people with disabilities as well as developing processes to better support people in their roles," he said.

The District has also signed a new agreement with disability employment service provider WISE Employment and has a longstanding partnership with the JobSupport program.

A partnership with the Paralympic Workforce Diversity Program led to Anderson's employment at the District.

"I am here to help people and be an ambassador for people with disabilities. As an athlete, I thrived in the team environment. I want to support other people with a disability in their employment so they can thrive in their lives," he said.

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