Where’s the balance between duty of care and dignity of risk for the most vulnerable in our society?

It takes great courage for carers of people with disability to entrust others to equip the adults in their care for the world of work. Essentially, Disability Employment Services (DES) staff say to carers: ‘It’s going to be OK. All you have to do is take this huge leap of faith and we’ll catch you and your kin. You’ve got to believe me and also live with the consequences of our actions.’

We need to talk about risking success for people with disability.

As disability service providers, we receive training in both duty of care and the dignity of risk, and learn to foresee when the two push up against one another. We need to negotiate that tension carefully.

Like medical practitioners, our code is: do no harm. So, if in doubt, we must err on the side of caution.

But erring towards caution can seriously risk prospects of success.

Beyond ‘feeling good’ about employing a worker with a disability, there are numerous benefits to your bottom line for doing so.

In the first of its kind in Australia a recent Diversity Council Australia (DCA)/Suncorp [email protected] Index surveyed 3000 Australian workers and found that inclusion is good for customers and for employees.

The study found that employees in inclusive teams are 19 times more likely to be very satisfied with their job compared to workers in non-inclusive workplaces