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Paralympics Australia (PA) is delighted to announce the successful completion of the co-design process for its Building Employer Confidence (BEC) program.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, the BEC program seeks to transform the employment landscape by cultivating an understanding and appreciation of the unique abilities of athletes with disabilities.

As part of the initiative, Paralympics Australia undertook an ambitious project to co-create an Athlete Employment Program (AEP) with the ultimate objective to ensure more flexible and meaningful employment avenues for Para-athletes.

“Central to our vision was a program that was led by both athletes and employers. Our co-design process highlighted not just the barriers, but also the enablers to inclusion,” said Geoff Quinlan Head of Strategy and Brisbane 2032 Coordination at Paralympics Australia.

“Our journey with the BEC program reaffirms the invaluable contributions people with disabilities bring to the workplace.”

Just 53 per cent of people with disability were in the Australian workforce, compared with 84 per cent of people without disability.

Paralympics Australia engaged with 22 Para-athletes and representatives from 15 employers spanning nine esteemed organisations as part of the co-design process. The collaboration allowed PA to introspectively study the comprehensive employment journey of Para-athletes.

The outcome of the co-design process is a promising Athlete Employment Program (AEP) Framework, and an inaugural Pilot Program. This AEP will launch nine initiatives divided into three distinct workstreams, each steered by Paralympics Australia, Para-athletes and the program’s collaborating employers.

“Paralympics Australia remains dedicated to shattering attitudinal barriers and promoting a culture where every individual, irrespective of their abilities, can harness their potential,” Quinlan said.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the 22 Para-athletes and the participating organisations for their active involvement and insights during the program including Orima and wonderful partners of Paralympics Australia including Toyota, Woolworths, Allianz, Bupa, Mondelez, Harvey Norman, Citi and icare,” Quinlan said.

“These Para-athletes and organisations not only brought their expertise to the table but also exhibited an unwavering commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion. With their support, we’re laying the groundwork for a more inclusive future for all.”

Quinlan also acknowledge key members of the PA’s project teams who were indispensable to the co-design process as well as Deloitte who helped facilitate the project.

By: Paralympics Australia
Posted: 8 November 2023