What Is a Disability Action Plan?

A Disability Action Plan is an external sign of an organization’s intention to eradicate discrimination and outlines its plan for how this will be tackled. It specifies how an organization is making its workplace, products, and services accessible to people with disability, and informs the public how it is approaching diversity and enclosure. Moreover, the Disability Action Plan can also reduce the likelihood of discrimination complaints and the costs that accompany this. It is a formal document with particular requirements that is usually lodged with the Human Rights Commission.

What Is a Disability?

Disability is a part of nature. Almost everyone will temporarily or permanently experience disability at some point in their lives. In one billion people—about 15% of the global population—live with some kind of disability and this number is growing.

Disability results from personal and environmental factors including negative attitudes, inaccessible transportation and public buildings, and limited social support. People with disability experience poorer health outcomes, have less access to education and work opportunities, and are more likely to live in poverty than those without a disability.

Oftentimes, people with disability do not receive the healthcare services they need. Evidence shows that half of people with disability cannot afford healthcare.

However, great progress has been made to make the world more accessible for people living with disability but much more work is required to meet their needs.

What Are the Types of Disability?

You may come across many disabilities in your work life. Some examples of common disabilities you may find are:

Vision impairment. Vision impairment refers to people who are blind or who have partial vision. It is important always identify yourself and any others with you; ask if the person requires assistance, and listen for specific instructions, however be prepared for your offer to be refused. If guiding a person, let them take your arm, rather than taking theirs. Describe any changes in the environment such as steps, obstacles, etc. If the person has a guide dog, please remember the dog is working and should not be patted, fed or distracted.People who are deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing impairments can range from mild to intense. People who are hard of hearing may use a range of strategies and equipment including speech, lip-reading, writing notes, hearing aids or sign language interpreters. One should look and speak directly to them, not just to the people accompanying them, including interpreters; speak clearly and use a normal tone of voice unless otherwise instructed by the person with the hearing impairment; and if you don’t understand what a person is saying, ask them to repeat or rephrase, or alternatively offer them a pen and paper.People with mental health conditions. Mental illness is a universal term for a group of illnesses that affect the mind or brain. These illnesses, which comprise bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and personality disorders, affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. In addition, a person with a mental health condition may experience difficulty focusing, which can sometimes be a result of medication. Try to avoid overly stressful situations wherever possible so that their condition is not worsened.People with intellectual disability. A person with an intellectual disability may have substantial limitations in the skills needed to live and work in the community, including difficulties with communication, self-care, social skills, safety, and self-direction. The most important thing to remember is to treat each person as an individual. A person with an intellectual disability is just like everyone else—treat them as you would like to be treated; be considerate of the extra time it might take for them to do or say something; and be patient and give your complete attention, especially with someone who speaks slowly or with great effort.People with acquired brain injury (ABI). Acquired brain injury (ABI) refers to any type of brain damage that occurs after birth. The injury may occur because of disease, infection, lack of oxygen, or a trauma to the head. The long-term effects are different for each person and can range from mild to intense. It is usual for many people with ABI to experience increased fatigue; some slowing down in the speed with which they process information, plan and solve problems; changes to their behavior and personality, physical and sensory abilities, or thinking and learning; they may also have difficulty in areas such as memory, concentration, and communication.People with autism spectrum disorder. Autism is an umbrella description which comprises Autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and atypical autism. Autism affects the way information is taken in and stored in the brain. People with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and other activities. Impairments usually exist across three main areas of functioning: social interaction, communication, and behavior (restricted interests and repetitive behaviors). Many people with an autism spectrum disorder also have sensory sensitivities, i.e. over or under sensitivity to sight, touch, taste, smell, sound, temperature or pain.Some characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome. Those with Asperger’s syndrome are typically of average or above average intelligence, and can show a wide range of behaviors and social skills. People with Asperger’s syndrome may display some of the following characteristics: difficulty in forming friendships; ability to talk well, either too much or too little, but difficulty with communication; inability to understand that communication involves listening as well as talking; a very literal understanding of what has been said. For example, when asked to ‘get lost’, as in go away, a person with Asperger’s syndrome will be confused and may literally try to ‘get lost’; inability to understand the rules of social behavior, the feelings of others and to ‘read’ body language; sensitivity to criticism.People with physical disability. The common characteristic in physical disability is that some aspect of a person’s physical functioning—usually either their mobility, dexterity, or stamina—is affected. People with physical disability are normally experts in their own needs, and will understand the impact of their disability.

There are different kinds of disability and a wide variety of situations people go through. The disability may be permanent or temporary. It may exist from birth or be acquired later in life. People with the same disability are as likely as anyone else to have different abilities.

It is important to always ask before offering assistance; be at the same level when talking with the person; never assume that a person with physical disability also has intellectual disability and; ask permission before touching a person’s wheelchair or mobility aid.

Why Do We Need Disability Action Plan?

The aim of the duty is to gratify public authorities to give proper consideration to how they can best promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons and encourage participation by disabled persons in public life.

In developing Disability Action Plans, public authorities should pay attention on; developing a range of action measures designed to inspire cultural change in how disabled people are perceived by wider society and, increase representation of disabled people in public life. This aim is for disabled people to play a significantly greater role in the social, economic,s and political life.

A Disability Action Plan should:

The action measures may therefore include:

Strategies To Create a Good Space for People With Disabilities:

Enact legislation and formulate educational policy and planning (in consultation with families and organizations of people with disabilities) to develop educational that will enable people with disabilities to attend their local primary or secondary schools or tertiary institutions. Policy implementation needs to prepare the education system for inclusive education where appropriate.

How Is a Disability Action Plan Developed?

Key people who are responsible for delivering policies and processes relating to all internal and external processes including IT, property, employment, communications, advertising and goods and services need to:

This may be relatively straightforward and you may choose to implement changes rather than formally develop and lodge a Disability Action Plan in a small business. However, in large complex organizations with multiple outlets, the required changes may need to be planned over a period of years.

Each business unit manager needs to establish how accessible their policies, processes, and goods and services currently are for people with disability. This can be done in discussion with people with disability stakeholder groups including employees with disability. Actions need to be prioritized to eliminate the barriers that have the greatest impact first.

Furthermore, Disability Action Plans need to allot the financial and people resources required to implement the required changes. An action plan that is not supported by financial and people resources is destined to fail. Once established, an action plan can be given to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. In the event of a complaint, the Commission is required by the DDA to consider the organization’s Disability Action Plan.


What are disability benefits used for?

It is important to be wary of what you choose to spend your benefits on if these payments are your only source of income. Keeping certain factors in mind will make sure that you keep your disability benefits and finances in order.

However, it is very much recommended that you spend them wisely. Before purchasing luxury items and entertainment, disability benefits should go towards expenses such as:

  • Housing
  • Utility payments
  • Food
  • Other everyday living expenses

You need to be careful about remaining eligible if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is the form of disability payment that is financial need based. Also, take note that you cannot spend your benefits on illegal items or activities. If you do so, you will lose your disability benefits.

Can you be on disability for life?

As long as you continue to qualify, your disability benefits can continue for life. You may apply for disability benefits at any age.

Top 5 reasons why disability claims are denied:

  • Lack of Hard Medical Evidence

If you want to qualify for disability benefits you will need to prove that you are unable to work due to your disabling condition. Many Social Security Disability claims are denied due to a lack of solid medical evidence. In addition, you must have medical records that show your disability has interfered with your ability to perform work activity in order to succeed in this.

  • Your Income

This is only if you are applying for certain benefits. Your income does not matter when applying for some other benefits. Some people who apply for SSI benefits can work part time and earn money during the process. However, if you are working and earning more than a certain amount per month when you apply for Social Security Disability, your claim could get denied.

  • Failure to Follow Treatment

The Social Security Administration will deny your claim if you fail to follow the treatment prescribed to you by your doctor. The reason for this is that the examiner will not be able to accurately determine whether or not your condition actually prevents you from being able to work if you are unwilling to cooperate with treatment.

If there is valid reason for not following through with the treatment prescribed by your doctor, you can bring this up during the appeals process. You will, however, want a Social Security Disability attorney representing you in this case.

  • Failure to Cooperate

It is in your best interests to cooperate with them during the application process no matter how you feel about the people handling your Social Security Disability claim.

If you fail to provide the Social Security office with requested documentation or fail to show up to your scheduled medical exams, your claim will be denied. Due to this, it is important to remain in contact with the person handling your case and provide any and all documentation requested in a timely manner.

What are the most approved disabilities?

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal disabilities are the most commonly approved conditions for disability benefits.

What are some common hidden disabilities?

  • Psychiatric Disabilities—Examples include major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Attention Deficit-Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities

Other examples include short or long term, stable or progress, constant or unpredictable and fluctuating, controlled by medication and untreatable.

Evidence suggests that the quality of life of people with disabilities, and of the broader community, progresses when people with disabilities themselves actively voice their concerns and participate in decision-making. People with disabilities are the most qualified and best equipped to support, inform, and advocate for themselves and other people with disabilities. Self-help organizations are the best informed, most qualified, and most motivated to speak on their own behalf regarding the proper design and implementation of policy, legislation, and strategies which will make sure their full participation in social, cultural, economic, and political life and enable them to contribute to the growth of their communities.