Action plans and action plan guides
Why action plans?
To help employers and other organisations eliminate discrimination against people with disability and to increase awareness of the rights of people with disability, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) encourages organisations to develop “action plans” or what is commonly referred to as a DAP (Disability Action Plan). The purpose of a DAP is to encourage, recognise and promote an active commitment to eliminating disability discrimination and to promote the recognition of the rights of people with disability.
A DAP is a document which sets out your organisation’s strategy for identifying and addressing practices which might result in discrimination against people with disability and to promote the recognition of the rights of people with disability. It details how an organisation is making its workplace, products and services accessible and inclusive to people with disability, and informs the public how it is approaching diversity and inclusion. A DAP is similar to a business plan, as it sets out a blueprint for change that is short, action-oriented, time-sensitive and measurable.
Resources on developing an action plan
The Commission's Disability Action Plan Guide is intended to support business and government to develop action plans which promote more accessible and inclusive workplaces, businesses and communities.
Access to action plans provided to the Commission
Under section 64 of the DDA, organisations may provide a copy of their Action Plan and any amendments to the Commission. When the Commission receives a copy of an action plan, it will be published on the Disability Action Plan Register (the Register).
DAPs are made available on the Register so that organisations developing an action plan can benefit from other organisations’ work and experience. The Register also allows people with disability to see what an organisation has committed itself to achieving and contribute their views on how action plans and their implementation could be improved.
Registration of an Action Plan on the Register does not imply that it is endorsed by the Commission.
If your organisation is submitting an action plan, please submit the plan in electronic format, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The preferred method of submission is to provide a link to where your plan can be found on your own website. Note: PDF files continue to present barriers for some users and an alternative in HTML or word processor format should be provided if at all possible. If only a PDF file is available, please provide a link to a page which provides contact information as well as to the PDF file.
If a website link is not available, the Commission will post on its own site files emailed to us. Please avoid sending unnecessarily large files (with photos for example) if a smaller file is available.
Action plans and the Commission
Under the DDA, employers and businesses are required to make changes which reduce barriers for people with disability. These are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’ and may include changes such as making the premises more accessible, modifying equipment or changing work schedules.
In some circumstances, it may be unreasonable for these adjustments to be made if the cost or difficulty of providing access will place an ‘unjustifiable hardship’ on a person or organisation. Unjustifiable hardship is based on an assessment of what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances. If the proposed adjustments are likely to cause hardship, it is up to the person or organisation to show that they are unjustified.
If a complaint is made to the Commission regarding alleged disability discrimination, the Commission is obliged to consider any DAP which has been lodged on the Register when considering unjustifiable hardship.