If you’re keeping up to date with NDSP news, you might remember our recent interview with Dane Cross (click here to check it out), business owner, father, husband, brother, son, uncle and NDIS participant.
Dane owns a business called Inclusive Access Solutions and has had a pretty full plate as far as work and employment goes since his spinal cord injury.
As part of our recent chat with Dane, we thought we’d get his thoughts on the subject of inclusivity in the workplace ….
Dane, Inclusivity in the workplace has been in the news of late, and although you’ve been working for years, it seems that part of your approach to employment is to ‘create a job’ rather than find one! Tell us about your career so far, your new(ish) business, Inclusive Access Solutions and what drove you to set it up.
Dylan Allcott was on the Project the other night speaking about this exact topic. They’ve kicked off a #removethebarrier campaign to change the perception of people with disability in the workplace. The research/statistics show that people with disability are more productive and more reliable employees than their able-bodied colleagues, yet they’re overrepresented in the unemployment line.
It’s a funny thing. Working, for me, since sustaining my injury, has been something I’ve undertaken almost with a point to prove. I’ve been determined to succeed in the workplace. It’s almost like I’m on a personal vendetta to prove the stereotypes of disability in the workplace wrong. Stacey admires my work ethic but hates it at the same time. I work long hours but I can’t help it, I’m passionate about what I do – in all of my roles! And it’s true, none of the roles I’ve been employed in (post-spinal cord injury) have been in roles that existed prior to me coming along. I’ve been able to forge a way into employment, despite there not being a pre-existing role or “off-the-shelf” position available.
We started Inclusive Access Solutions a couple of years ago as a “passion project” – a passion to make the world a more accessible and inclusive place for people with disability. I kept finding that, almost everywhere I went, whether it was out on the weekend with my family, down to the local shop, or even within the workplace, I would encounter barriers – both physical and attitudinal. But it wasn’t until a trip to Hawaii a few years ago, after seeing and experiencing a better level of access and inclusion, that Stacey and I decided to do something about it. So we got back, I got myself an Access Consulting qualification, and we launched Inclusive Access Solutions.
At its core, Inclusive Access Solutions an Access Consulting business specialising in the provision of advice and guidance relating to disability access to premises. Our passion and experience however has seen us expand our services beyond that of simply assessing buildings and plans against the relevant Codes and Standards. We have moved into a more holistic space where we’re operating to change public perception and understanding relating to “disability” and why #accessmatters and #inclusionmatters (just thought I’d throw in a couple of our hashtags, haha).
So, in addition to delivering the standard suite of access consulting services (i.e. access audits, reviewing building plans for certification, etc), we also help organisations and businesses to develop Disability Action Plans, deliver Disability Awareness Coaching and design a more inclusive business model that includes people of all abilities. We also provide accessible design solutions for homes and residences, because we’re of the belief that “your home is not a hospital!” Our focus at the moment though is upon Inclusive Tourism and assisting hotels and tourism operators to “tap in” to this huge and largely untapped market.
If you’d like to follow the Cross Family Adventures, you really should:
For more about Dane’s work with Inclusive Access Solutions, head to their website: http://www.inclusiveaccess.com.au
Or check them out on Instgram (@inclusiveaccesssolutions) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/inclusiveaccesssolutions/).
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