Disability Works Australia


Office for Disability and Client Services

The Office for Disability and Client Services (ODaCS) is a business unit within Disability SA and provides direction for the disability sector in SA through policy development and funding for a range of services for people with disabilities.

Penny Buddle is the Office Manager for the Office for Disability and Client Services, she is responsible for running the office functions including the implementation for the recruitment process and assisting team managers in the recruitment of staff.

Penny has worked in the Office for Disability and Client Services for around nine months and was advised of the services offered by Disability WORKS Australia (DWA) who manages the State Government Strategy for employing people into the SA State Government. Her line manager, Maurice Corcoran, Manager, Disability Inclusion and Business Services Unit mentioned that they had previously used DWA to recruit new staff and that given the overall role of ODaCS, there were real benefits in recruiting people with a lived experience of disability.

Penny, who had previously worked in a large corporate organisation, believed any opportunity to open up your candidate pool especially for short term temporary roles seemed like a brilliant opportunity.

Penny contacted DWA and advised that the office had a temporary contract position for a business administration support officer. DWA manages a register of potential candidates for state government positions and DWA used this information to source a potential candidate Grant Dodman for Penny to consider.

DWA forwarded an electronic copy of Grants resume to Penny for review and advised Penny of the candidate's disability and support requirements. Penny asked DWA a number of questions relating to the correct terminology in addressing a person with a disability especially in an interview setting. Penny had never worked in an environment that employed people with disabilities before so the information provided by DWA on addressing Grants support requirements was concise and helpful.

After interviewing, Penny offered Grant the role of business administration support officer.

Grant has a physical disability and he uses a wheelchair. Grant travels from Northern Adelaide to the CBD to work and has no issues with commuting each day by train. The office environment was well set up for a person with a mobility disability and the only modification required was to his work station and the moving of a binding machine to accommodate access.

For Grant, the role offers him an opportunity to increase his skills, independence and work for the State Government in The Officer for Disability and Client Services.

For Penny, the advantages were clear. DWA provided:

  1. An avenue for recruitment for short term roles not filled by internal means.
  2. It opened up the work environment to diversity thus continuing the forward move of the cultural dynamic of the office.
  3. The process was easy and simple.

However, the real success story in this case is that fact Penny, after the successful and easy recruitment of Grant into his role has now employed a further two employees with a disability from the Disability Employment Register and ODaCS now has approximately 20% of staff who have some form of disability.


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