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Does your workplace provide ‘dignified access’ for those with disability?

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

Employers are obligated to provide “dignified access” to their workspace as part of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010.

For those who may be unaware if their workplace is up to standard, the Australian Network on Disability (AND) provides guidelines on how to develop an inclusion plan.

AND said a plan would address things such as:

  • Adjusting your business processes and procedures to place accessibility at the centre
  • Making changes to physical environments
  • Providing ergonomic equipment and assistive technology
  • Enabling flexible working hours and locations

According to AND, one in five people in Australia is living with a disability. That’s 17.8 per cent of females and 17.6 per cent of males.

With this in mind, Cushman and Wakefield has partnered with world champion para surfer Sam Bloom to urge organisations to review their dignified access plan.

“As we journey towards a more inclusive future, it’s crucial to listen, learn, and adapt. By continuously evaluating and improving workplace practices, guided by feedback and evolving best practices in disability inclusion, we pave the way for a world where every person can thrive and contribute their unique talents. Progress comes from a commitment to growth, and together, we can build a truly inclusive society,” said Ms Bloom.

Cushman and Wakefield described dignified access as a way to ensure “equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities, fostering a more inclusive and diverse work environment”.

The partnership aims to shed light on this issue with a white paper, titled Dignified Access: Paving the Way for an Inclusive Workplace.

The white paper was described by Cushman and Wakefield as: “Practical insights and best practices. It explores key considerations such as physical accessibility, digital inclusivity, and accommodations for neurodivergent individuals, among others. By shedding light on these topics, the white paper aims to inspire and guide businesses in fostering inclusive environments that value the diverse abilities of their workforce.”

Maria Russo-Fama, director of client services and project and development services at Cushman and Wakefield, commented on the announcement: “Promoting dignified access is not just a legal or moral obligation; it is a fundamental aspect of building a truly inclusive and equitable workplace.”

“We believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive and contribute, regardless of their abilities. By sharing our knowledge and resources through this white paper and checklist, we aim to empower organisations worldwide to create accessible environments that celebrate diversity and enable everyone to reach their full potential.”



Disability is a persistent condition that limits an employee's capacity to carry out routine tasks. It refers to anything permanent or likely to be permanent, may be chronic or episodic, is attributable to intellectual, mental, or physical impairment, and is likely to require continuous support services.


According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, discrimination occurs when one individual or group of people is regarded less favourably than another because of their origins or certain personality traits. When a regulation or policy is unfairly applied to everyone yet disadvantages some persons due to a shared personal trait, that is also discrimination.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.