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Pilot program for young people with intellectual disability

Disability Rights
Dr Ben Gauntlett sits in a wheelchair in a Woolworths store with three Good Sammy staff standing around him.

A collaboration between the Western Australian charity Good Sammy, the Commission, and Woolworths has created a new opportunity for young people with intellectual disability.

About 20 Good Sammy employees aged 16-35 are working in roles including grocery, customer service and bakery during a 12-week pilot program.

Good Sammy will hold the employees’ existing roles open for them during the pilot and provide support to each person alongside additional support provided by Woolworths and the Commission’s IncludeAbility project.

The Commission will provide training around effective and inclusive employment of people with disability to Woolworths’ team leaders whose stores are participating in the pilot. Woolworths will also implement learnings from the pilot to improve inclusive employment and the experiences of its team members across its broader network.

The opportunity for Good Sammy to participate in the pilot was made possible through Woolworths’ membership of the Commission’s IncludeAbility project.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Dr Ben Gauntlett said: “The labour force participation rate for people with disability aged 15-64 years in Australia is 53% compared to 84% of people the same age without disability, and this rate has remained relatively unchanged for people with disability over the last 20 years."

"Our IncludeAbility project aims to address this participation gap by building greater capacity among employers to address employment barriers for Australians living with disability.

"As one of the project’s Employer Network Members, I thank Woolworths for participating in this pilot project. Our largest businesses have an important role in leading by example when employing people with disability. Woolworths have shown great leadership in supporting the project."

"Good Sammy have highlighted the importance of leading disability service providers focusing on the needs of people with disability and being innovative in their approach to employment and employment opportunities."

The pilot started in mid-February.