Blind prejudice - Rachel Sanderson MP

Rachel Sanderson MP
Shadow Minister for Families and Child Protection
Blind prejudice
The State Liberals are calling on Families SA to review its employment guidelines after
it refused to interview a social work graduate for a position on the grounds the vision
impaired young woman did not have a drivers licence.
“The State Government has failed its obligation to be an equal opportunity employer by
refusing to interview Ms Connie Miara for a position on the Child Abuse Report Line,”
said Shadow Minister for Families and Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.
“Automatically precluding candidates on the grounds they don’t have a drivers licence
unjustly discriminates against a range of people who cannot obtain a drivers licence.
“The State Government should be a model employer with the necessary flexibility in its
employment practices to enable people with a disability to gain meaningful
employment.
“The fact Ms Miara has a degree in social work makes this policy that much more
perverse.
“Families SA is the largest employer of social workers in SA and is currently recruiting
an additional 280 employees. If Connie can’t even get an interview what chance does
she have of ever securing work in her chosen field?
“People should be assessed on their ability to do the job, not stopped from applying for
jobs that shouldn't require driving because they don't have a licence.
“We know from State Coroner Mark Johns that we need more skilled, qualified people
keeping our children safe. Yet a qualified social worker wasn’t even allowed to apply
for a job.
“This situation needs to be rectified and quickly.”
Contact: Rachel Sanderson – 8269 1838
www.rachelsanderson.com.au,
www.facebook.com/memberadelaide?ref=mf
Twitter.com/AdelaideMP
Royal Society for the Blind in push to drop
mandatory driver’s licence requirement for
jobs
LAUREN NOVAK POLITICAL REPORTER - The Advertiser - May 22, 2015 11:43AM
Connie Miari has given up applying for many jobs because a driver’s licence is required.
Picture: Calum Robertson Source: News Corp Australia
EMPLOYERS and Government departments should drop a mandatory requirement
for many jobseekers to hold a driver’s licence — even desk-bound jobs — because it is
excluding vision-impaired people from the workforce, the Royal Society for the Blind
says.
Social work graduate Connie Miari, 23, has given up applying for many jobs because the
advertisements state that a driver’s licence is required.
Ms Miari was born with albinism which affects her eyesight and means she cannot legally
drive.
The requirement discouraged her from applying for a job in the Families SA Child Abuse
Report Line (CARL) call centre, despite recently graduating from UniSA with social work
qualifications.
The agency is recruiting up to 280 staff, including for social worker roles.
“It’s unfair that I’m not allowed to have a go due to the fact that I haven’t had a licence,” Ms
Miari said.
“I feel the fact that that (call centre) position is more of a desk job, it’s not something where
I’d always be travelling.
“I would like to work in that particular department to start somewhere but I just haven’t had
the opportunity.”
Education and Child Development Department deputy chief executive Julieann Riedstra said
all social workers employed by Families SA, including those employed in the CARL call
centre, “are required to be able to undertake field work for which a current driver’s licence is
essential”.
Opposition child protection spokeswoman Rachel Sanderson said there was a clear need for
qualified child protection workers and applicants should be assessed “on their ability to do
the job, not stopped from applying for jobs that shouldn’t require driving because they don’t
have a licence”.
“If Connie can’t even get an interview, what chance does she have of ever securing work in
her chosen field?” Ms Sanderson said.
Royal Society for the Blind executive director Andrew Daly called on employers to consider
alternative options for transport before making a driver’s licence an essential criteria for
employment.
“Unless the ability to drive is a crucial requirement of the role, we are calling on employers to
have a good look at their selection criteria,” he said.
“In the most drastic cases, employers are using software to review electronic applications and
those without a driver’s licence are automatically rejected.”
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