Disability, employment and anti-discrimination laws

24 February 2014

ANU researcher Dale Reardon wants to hear from Australians who have a disability and have experienced discrimination in relation to employment.

His current research project aims to discover why some people with disabilities prefer not to use anti-discrimination laws, despite having experienced discrimination in the workplace or while applying for jobs.

"Anecdotally, I have heard of cases where people have had grounds to take legal action but, because they would have to pursue their rights individually using their own time and money, they decide in the end that it's not worth the risk financially," said Dale.

Dale is blind and uses a seeing-eye dog. He has a first-hand understanding of the issues faced by those with a disability, having experienced discrimination himself.

"I have missed out on jobs because the employer just didn't think I could perform the job with my disability even though I had been a successful lawyer for years," he said.

"For this study, I'm interested to hear from those who have taken legal action to address discrimination in the workplace, to find out what their experience was like.

"I believe my research could prove beneficial to disabled people in Australia by uncovering current problems with the disability anti-discrimination system in Australia.

"I am very keen to involve the disabled and hear from the disabled themselves about what they want from anti-discrimination law. Too often research is done about people with disability, without actually involving them."

The PhD research involves an online survey about experiences with the disability anti-discrimination legal system, followed by in-depth interviews.

To take part in the research or find out more, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G6CHBML or email dale.reardon@anu.edu.au