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Different abilities

International Day of People with Disability celebrates breaking down barriers, opening doors, and realising an inclusive society for all.

Wednesday December 3, 2014

Australian Red Cross brought together staff and volunteers with different abilities to make a film about inclusion.

On 3 December, organisations including businesses, government and communities will come together to celebrate the positive changes made to the lives of over four million Australians.

International Day of People with Disability is a yearly event sanctioned by the United Nations that celebrates the achievements and contributions of people with disability. The day aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability across the country.

The theme for this year focuses on how technology can break down barriers for people with disability. Rapid developments in technology have changed the way people can access entertainment, work, communications and information, while devices are becoming faster, cheaper and more accessible.

Over four million people in Australia have a disability - that's one in five - and 2.1 million of these are of working age. Within this group, only 54.3% of people are engaged in the labour force compared to 83% of people without a disability.

The result is that people with a disability face a significantly higher than average risk of poverty. In 2009-2010, figures showed that 27.4% of those with a disability - that's 620,600 people - lived in households below the poverty line.

As part of our commitment to a more inclusive society, we now help more than 1,400 disadvantaged job seekers into productive, rewarding employment each and every year. We run two warehouse operations in Queensland giving people with disability or other barriers genuine employment opportunities.

Our staff and volunteers came together to make a film that shared their experiences and ideas. You can watch the short film, named Different Abilities, below.