In August the Commission convened a two-hour Substantive Equality forum for public sector agencies and not for profit organisations at the Australian Professional Skills Institute in East Perth which aimed to get service providers thinking more about effective consultation methods with older clients and clients with disability.
The forum heard from Samantha Jenkinson CEO of People With Disabilities, and Mark Teale Executive Officer of the Council of the Aging, who shared examples of good and bad experiences of consultation methods reported by the people they represent, to provide the participating service providers with some context for their discussions.
The presentations were followed by discussions based on real life service delivery scenarios and the difficulty of catering for everyone when developing policies and procedures appropriate to a wide range of clients with such different and distinctive needs.
The forum highlighted one of the challenges with Substantive Equality for most service providers was understanding the impact policies and procedures had on specific groups of customers. Achieving equitable outcomes required consultation with specific groups to develop and evaluate effective service delivery.