A policy targeting the employment of people with a disability, a group of critical friends who provide expert advice and more accessible complaint channels are some of the initiatives being pursued under the TIO's third Disability Action Plan, launched on Monday, 2 June 2014.
The plan will run from 2013 to 2016. The TIO is the only industry Ombudsman scheme with a disability action plan.
The plan was launched by Rhonda Galbally AO, a noted campaigner for the rights of people with disability. The launch was attended by the TIO board including new Chair Patricia Faulkner AO, the Ombudsman Simon Cohen, disability advocates and members of the TIO's disability action committee.
Development of the third plan began in June 2013, with a meeting of advocates for people with disability and the TIO's disability action committee. The TIO also consulted with its member organisations, notably Telstra and Optus. More than 170 TIO staff responded to a survey asking them how successful the first two plans had been and how they could contribute to the third plan.
During the development of the plan, we learned how important technology is for enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. For example, we learned that Deaf people depend heavily on smart phones and rely on large data allowances.
Phillip Money, the TIO's Community Liaison Manager, said that the TIO is working on assembling members of the organisation's first critical friends group, which will provide advice for the life of the plan.
"The group will reflect the interests of as many people with disabilities as possible," he said. "We will also include carer representatives as they have a critical stake in the wellbeing of those they look after."
Read the TIO's Disability Action Plan.