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Develop, support, promote disability leaders

Tag Archive: discrimination

  1. DLI members in the news – December 2023/January 2024

    Melissa Hale – Melissa Hale is changing the game for deaf women in cricket

    Lisa Stafford – Disabled Travellers Face Discrimination: Seeking Change and Redress

    Shane Hryhorec – Glenelg’s accessibility beach mats open 24/7 across the next two weeks

    Lisa Stafford – Travellers with disability often face discrimination. What should change and how to complain.

    Lisa Cox – Representation shouldn’t be rocket science (paywalled)

    Shane Hryhorec – Beaches that roll out welcome mat for the less mobile

    Caroline Bowditch – Alter State igniting hope through Disability Leadership

    Shane Hryhorec – Disability advocates call for government investment to improve Australian beach accessibility

    Lisa Cox – Diversity in advertising and the high fashion glass ceiling 

    Shane Hryhorec – First-ever all-inclusive & accessible membership-based gym opens in SA

    Shane Hryhorec – Australia’s first inclusive gym opens in Port Adelaide

     

    December 2023

    Megan Spindler Smith – CEO internship, a first of its kind learning experience for all

    Kate Taylor – Speed dating with an inclusive twist

    Gemma Smart – CAPA board passes motion removing SUPRA voting rights

    Frances Kupke- Smith – Beyond barriers: Advocate sheds light on the challenges at disability expo

    Christina Ryan – The Drum

    Akii Ngo – Birthday party part of the search for inclusivity

     

    Jane Britt – Things I wish I’d known before an emergency — Notes on the Brisbane floods from someone who’s deafblind

    Disability Leadership Institute – Disabled voices leading the national conversation

    Tricia Malowney – Kinetic invests in enhanced accessibility in Melbourne

    Carol Taylor – The rise of adaptive fashion

    Disability Leadership Institute, Christina Ryan – People with disability recognised for making an impact

    Disability Leadership Institute – ABC features stories for, by and about Australians living with disability

  2. No Business Case Required

    No Business Case Required

    An old grey suitcase with  gold coloured snap closures. It is sitting on a luggage rack.

    By Christina Ryan, DLI CEO

     

    When working to improve diversity in board rooms and executive teams disabled people are told to make the “business case” for being in these rarified environments.

     

    Yet, other groups, most notably those who created these spaces, and have been there all along, are not asked to make any business case to be present. Rather, they continue to be appointed to positions based on “merit” – that is, whether they are in the right networks and “fit in” to the existing culture. In other words, people who look like the people who are already there.

     

    If a business case was required our parliaments, board and executive rooms would lose most of their current population. Yet somehow people from preferred networks continue to be appointed without any business case to prove their worth.

     

    Why, then, are disabled people expected to prove our worth before we are allowed admittance?

     

    The “business case” is another gate that disabled people must pass through to get to a world where we are equal. A gate that is kept by non-disabled people. An ableist gate which demands that disabled people prove we can operate in a space created by non-disabled people where they set the rules and can be comfortable, and face no challenges to their status quo.

     

    There is a wealth of research about the benefits of diversity; how it improves bottom lines, decisions made, productivity outcomes, and innovation levels. Yet each diversity group is required to prove its worth before being allowed admittance. Now, apparently, it is the turn of disabled people to prove our worth, to put our business case to pass through this gate.

     

    Business cases are reserved for those on the outside of the right networks, those who are hoping to be allowed in, not those who have the right friends and find themselves already on the inside.

     

    To require an entire diversity group to make a business case is systemic discrimination, otherwise known as ableism.

     

    To exclude an individual person because they are disabled is discrimination, also known as ableism.

     

    There are plenty of highly competent and qualified disabled people who should be appointed to boards and executive teams. It is not the lack of a business case that is preventing these appointments. It is the discomfort of those on the inside, those whose status quo is being challenged. Those who somehow feel that disability equates to incompetence and inexperience.

     

    Some of these people fear being upstaged by a disabled person who is more competent or qualified than they are. Unfortunately, many of these people also hold the keys to the gates of equality and they won’t let us in.

     

    No business case is required to advance equality for disabled people. Rather it is the willingness of those keeping gates to open them.

     

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    Christina Ryan is the CEO of the Disability Leadership Institute, which provides professional development and support for disability leaders. She identifies as a disabled person.