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Employer guide: Campaigns and awareness days for inclusion of people with disability at work

Campaigns and awareness days related to the inclusion of people with disability are used by many organisations to inspire understanding and engagement in the workplace.

By linking back to your organisation’s wider goals and values, awareness days can help you promote a culture of inclusion and demonstrate your commitment to a workplace that is accessible, safe and supports everyone to reach their full potential.

This guide is designed to help you plan for and contribute to key global and national campaigns for inclusion of people with disability in 2020.

The Valuable 500

24 January 2019 to 2020

The Valuable 500 is a campaign that aims to get 500 businesses globally to commit to putting disability on their board agendas by 2020. It was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos, Switzerland, by #valuable founder Caroline Casey, with a mission to ignite a historic global movement for a new age of business inclusion.

Created to mark the launch of The Valuable 500, the ‘DIVERSISH’ campaign reveals that while many businesses call themselves diverse, most overlook, ignore or postpone the inclusion of people with disability. The campaign calls for business leaders to stop being ‘diversish’ and commit to real accountability and action on inclusion of people with disability.

AND is a Business Resource Network within the #valuable tribe. We commend our members who’ve joined The Valuable 500, and strongly encourage other organisations to follow their leadership.

Key hashtags: #valuable #Valuable500 #diversish #InclusionRevolution

Related links:

World Hearing Day

3 March 2020

On World Hearing Day 2020, the World Health Organization will highlight that timely and effective interventions can result in people with hearing loss being able to achieve their full potential.

Poor hearing is a significant problem in Australia and disproportionately impacts our aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

International Women’s Day

8 March 2020

International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women, and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It’s a day to recognise the contributions, rights and aspirations of all women, including women with disability.

The IWD 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual, which celebrates the power of every individual to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.

The United Nations celebrates International Women’s Day to accelerate gender equality and empower all women to create a better world for everyone. Each year, UN Women Australia hosts some of the largest International Women’s Day events around the country.

Key hashtags: #IWD2020 #EachforEqual #WomensDay

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World Autism Awareness Day

2 April 2020

World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the United Nations to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism and ensure their full and meaningful participation in society.

Key hashtags: #WorldAutismDay #WorldAutismAwarenessDay #WAAD #autism #ASD #neurodiversity

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World Day for Safety and Health at Work

28 April 2020

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual campaign by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to promote safe, healthy and decent work. The 2020 World Day will focus on violence and harassment in the world of work.

Australian organisations need to do more to combat harassment and discrimination of workers with disability. Research by Diversity Council Australia showed that workers with disability were twice as likely as workers without disability to have experienced discrimination and/or harassment, and to have felt excluded.

Key hashtags: #FutureOfWork #ILO100 #WorldWHSDay2020

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

21 May 2020

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) aims to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about online access and inclusion. It builds understanding of how people with disability interact with websites, apps and other digital environments, and the steps we need to take to achieve fair access to information.

The global standard for web content accessibility is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1. It was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Web Accessibility Initiative, in pursuit of a web that is accessible to all.

Key hashtags: #gaad #accessibility #a11y

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R U OK?Day

10 September 2020

R U OK?Day is a national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that any day is the day to ask the simple but important question: Are you okay? It aims to encourage everyone to meaningfully connect with those around them and support anyone going through a tough time.

R U OK? at Work is a suite of resources and practical guidance to help people navigate a conversation with someone they’re worried about in the workplace.

Key hashtags: #RUOK #RUOKDay #RUOKEveryday

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International Day of Sign Languages

23 September 2020

International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly to raise awareness of the role of sign language as essential to meeting the human rights of people who are deaf. It also recognises the importance of preserving sign languages as part of linguistic and cultural diversity.

IDSL corresponds with International Week of the Deaf, which is celebrated each year on the last full week of September.

Sign languages are crucial means for individuals to express themselves, connect with others and participate in all aspects of economic, social, cultural and political spheres. Sign language is also critical to ensuring access to information and services, including during emergencies, and to meeting the human rights of the more than 70 million deaf people around the globe.

Key hashtags: #IDSL2020 #IWDeaf2020

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International Day for Universal Access to Information

28 September 2020

International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly to raise awareness of the right to seek and receive information as an integral part of the right to freedom of expression, and as key to sustainable development.

In our global information society, access to information is directly linked to the enjoyment of basic rights and freedoms. It has the power to transform lives. For one billion people with disability in the world, access to information and technology provides an opportunity to enhance their social, political and economic participation and reach their full potential.

Key hashtags: #IDUAI #AccessToInfoDay #RightToKnow

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National Safe Work Month

October 2020

National Safe Work Month, an initiative of Safe Work Australia, is a time to commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians. Workplaces that keep people healthy, satisfied and free from physical and psychological harm help to motivate employees, reduce errors and improve productivity.

Inclusive employers take every employee’s needs into consideration when planning and implementing Work Health and Safety (WHS), including employees with disability.

Last year’s theme was ‘Be a Safety Champion’.

Key hashtags: #SafetyChampion #SafeWorkMonth #WHS

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World Sight Day

8 October 2020

World Sight Day focuses global attention on blindness and low vision, including the full participation of people who are blind or have low vision in the community. Held on the second Thursday of October each year, it’s coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) under the global initiative VISION 2020: The Right to Sight.

Key hashtags: #WorldSightDay #WorldSightDayAU #Vision2020

World Mental Health Day

10 October 2019

World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide. It is a time to consider how we, as employers, leaders and colleagues, can support mental health, wellbeing and inclusion in our workplaces.

Last year’s theme was ‘Mental health promotion and suicide prevention’.

Many Australian states and territories recognise October as Mental Health Month or celebrate Mental Health Week during October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

Key hashtags: #WorldMentalHealthDay #MentalHealth #MentalHealthPromise #MentallyHealthyWorkplaces

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International White Cane Day

15 October 2020

International White Cane Day, also known as White Cane Safety Day or White Cane Awareness Day, raises awareness of the importance of the white cane and how it aids the mobility and independence of people with blindness or low vision.

Key hashtags: #WhiteCaneSafetyDay #InternationalWhiteCaneDay #iwcd


21 November 2019 to 2020

#InvalidOpinions is a global campaign led by the ILO Global Business & Disability Network (GBDN) that aims to combat the stereotypes and stigma experienced by people with disability in the labour market.

Every day, people make generalisations and assumptions about people with disability. Most of these assumptions are wrong. The campaign highlights individuals who are defying these ‘invalid opinions’ everyday – and asks the viewer to confront their own beliefs and misconceptions that might be inadvertently contributing to individuals being held back in the world of work.

A campaign kit, videos and other promotional assets are available on the ILO GBDN website.

Key hashtags: #InvalidOpinions

International Day of People with Disability

3 December 2020

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations-sanctioned day celebrated internationally on 3 December. It increases awareness of the benefits of inclusion of people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

IDPwD is the most important day of the year to celebrate the contribution that people with disability make in our community. It’s the ideal day for Australian organisations to launch an Action Plan, a new commitment or a new policy. It’s a day to celebrate ‘nothing about us without us’, which is the global mantra for self-determination and empowerment for people with disability.

Last year’s theme, as declared by the UN, was ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’.

Key hashtags: #IDPWD (Australian) #IDPD (international)

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Human Rights Day

10 December 2020

Human Rights Day is the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person, including people with disability.

Human rights are at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to leave no one behind.

Last year’s Human Rights Day theme was ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights’.

Key hashtags: #StandUp4HumanRights #GlobalGoals

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About AND

Australian Network on Disability (AND) is a business disability network established to make it easier for large organisations to be actively and confidently inclusive of people with disability in all aspects of business.

Find out more about what we do.