EOC Media Releases

Impairment discrimination still number one ground of complaint in WA

by EOC | Dec 03, 2017

As impairment discrimination reaches 10 years as the ground with most complaints lodged, Acting WA Equal Opportunity Commissioner Dr John Byrne has called on Western Australians to have greater awareness of disability issues for the International Day of People with Disability.


“International Day of People with Disability on 3 December is a timely reminder it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their disability – mental or physical,” he said.


Dr Byrne said the fact that impairment discrimination had remained the ground with the highest amount of complaints for so long, and that it had increased in the past year, demonstrated it was a persistent problem.


“A disability does not have to be a barrier to engaging with society in a meaningful way, in fact people with a disability contribute significantly to our society,” he said.


Dr Byrne said about 40 percent of impairment discrimination complaints were lodged in the area of work, and another 26 percent were lodged in the area of goods and services.


“There are still major issues with access by people with disabilities to the services and facilities available to most people in the community.


“Disability affects a large portion of the population, so it makes sense to reflect that in your workforce and in your provision of services as much as possible,” he said.


He said of the impairment complaints lodged in the 2016-17 financial year 41 percent were about a physical disability, 23 percent were classified as a mental disability, 16 percent identified as intellectual disabilities and five percent were about an imputed impairment.


“Many complaints are made because there is a lack of understanding about how best to accommodate a person living with a disability.


“It is often the case that through education or discussion greater awareness can be achieved,” Dr Byrne said.


Communications Officer Sarah Johnston
(08) 9216 3911 mob 0409 137 843
Level 2, 141 St Georges Terrace, Western Australia 6000
Tel: (08) 9216 3900 –Fax: (08) 9216 3960
Email: sarah.johnston@eoc.wa.gov.au Website www.eoc.wa.gov.au