The Australian Network on Disability held its first ‘virtual conference’ recently and according to CEO Suzanne Colbert the combined effects of no cost, easy accessibility and an informative and diverse program led to bumper attendance. “Over 960 people attended the afternoon session and over 860 the morning session,” she said. The conference was broken into two, 120 minute sessions to boost focus and encourage participants to move around between sessions. Kurt Fearnley was the facilitator and there were 13 speakers.
Among the presentations were:
AiMedia on levelling the playing field while flattening the curve: How COVID-19 provided opportunities to improve accessibility and inclusion in the workplace.
‘Staying the course with the Access and Inclusion Index’. This session gave delegates the opportunity to gain first-hand insights from RMIT, ATO and Medibank who were the top performers in the organisations Access and Inclusion Benchmark Report for 2019-20.
The NSW Department of Communities and Justice presentation was about ‘championing inclusion’ and how it enlisted the support of 50 engaged champions and created empathy and understanding across the senior executive team to drive and sustain a culture of inclusion.
The Integrity and Security Division, Attorney-General’s Department gave an insightful presentation on using a maturity model to progress employee networks from an advocacy role to embedded culture change.
Kurt Fearnley facilitated a thought-provoking conversation with Matthew Parker, Enablers Network, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet; Ricki Sandler, Abilities Network, ANZ and Emily Reaper, Disability Ability Wellness Network (DAWN) at Life Without Barriers about the role they have played to keep their networks connected during this time.