Mercy Health was proud to officially launch its inaugural Accessibility Action Plan 2019-22 on International Day of People with Disability in December 2019.
The Mercy Health Accessibility Action Plan demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our organisation is equitable, inclusive and accessible to the people who choose to work with us and the people for whom we care and to whom we offer services. We endeavour to acknowledge and celebrate our rich diversity and ensure that our organisation reflects the communities in which we work.
The Australian Network on Disability defines disability as “any condition that restricts a person’s mental, sensory or mobility functions. It may be caused by accident, trauma, genetics or disease. A disability may be temporary or permanent, total or partial, lifelong or acquired, visible or invisible.”
After consulting with patients, clients, residents with a disability, families and carers, and our Community Advisory Committee, Mercy Health’s Accessibility Action Plan focuses on three key areas – our care, our community; our people, our talent; and our settings, our spaces.
Our care, our community is about ensuring our people are well-equipped to meet the needs of patients, residents and clients with disability. We do this by providing a suite of education offerings, advocacy, consultation with consumers and external partnerships with organisations, such as the Australian Network on Disability with whom we participate in monthly member Roundtable meetings. Recruitment activities are also underway with the aim of appointing people with a lived experience of disability to Mercy Health’s Consumer Advisor register.
Our people, our talent focuses on actions and initiatives we are undertaking to create a workplace that is respectful, inclusive and reflects the communities we serve. This aims to build the capacity of hiring managers by updating the mandatory ‘manager recruitment and selection training’ to include support for them to confidently recruit talent from diverse groups, including people with disability. We have also made progress in our offerings of disability awareness education, monitoring internal and external engagement and ensuring our policies and procedures consider accessibility requirements.
Our settings, our spaces ensures the creation of inclusive spaces that are safe and welcoming, while encouraging the participation of our staff and the people for whom we care. This is achieved by incorporating principles of disability inclusion into capital projects. For example, Mercy Health recently engaged an Accessibility Consultant to ensure a capital redesign project optimised building accessibility. Audits by organisations such as Design for Dignity have been undertaken with positive outcomes. Processes are in place to ensure training and event venues adhere to accessibility checklists provided by the Australian Network on Disability. Lastly, Mercy Health is also focused on ensuring information and communication is accessible, by promoting the National Relay Service and including captions on videos produced by Mercy Health.
Mercy Health has made good progress in the first year of our Accessibility Action Plan, however the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on some actions. We look forward to progressing the important work being undertaken and reporting on our Accessibility Action Plan’s further success in 2021.
Last reviewed February 14, 2021.