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Access-ORIZE Your Biz - Accessible Tourism And Inclusion.

Great Ocean Stays' Chris Smith presented "Access-ORIZE Your Biz" speech at the Bendigo NEXT Tourism Conference, held in February this year.

"Disability isn’t an emerging trend, but in some ways it is becoming more mainstream in both conversation and in practice. Accessibility and accommodations for disabled people are not special. They are fair, appropriate and just consequenses to remedy exclusion and discrimination.

Because at the end of the day. It’s not about us and them. We are all on this earth together, and it is a basic human right that everyone can physically access anywhere they want to go.

People with disability often have significant challenges while trying to do the things that many of us take for granted. It’s an alienating feeling being somewhere that is clearly not ‘built’ for you. Disability is part of human diversity" - Chris Smith.

One in five people in Australia have a disability and this proportion is increasing with an ageing population, it makes sense to put accessibility on the agenda on any businesses, big or small.

"In the future, we shouldn’t be questioning if employing people with disability is too expensive, but why people with disability have been excluded for so long", says Chris.

The Access-ORIZE Your Biz presentation also looks at employing people with disability.

Here are some facts from the Australian Network on Disability: People with disability typically take:

- Less sick days

- Are more reliable

- And are more loyal to the business.

- Have fewer workplace accidents

- Make fewer Workers Compensation claims

30% of people with disability are unemployed and when you look at the stats, this is a huge untapped market of potential employees that can bring diversity to your business.

"Let's look at the skill set of the individual, not the disability. It makes good business sense! If you’re not employing people with disabilities then your business is not reflecting the community of your customers".

Testimonial from Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine Team: "Christine's presentation highlights our region’s inclusive campaign Destination Accessible, and how being inclusive helps everyone!

We want to say a huge congratulations to Christine for her continued support and commitment to a topic very important to the visitor economy". Tracy Carter, Deputy Executive Director Marketing & Communications Manager.

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