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Careers for people with disability

Join our empowering and inclusive community
The University recognises that diversity of talent provides diversity of experience. We aspire to be an employer of choice for people with disability and draw upon their diverse talents.

We are committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for our professional and academic staff with disability. We welcome all staff members and students to our community and are dedicated to ensuring that they have equal opportunities to gain the best possible employment and education here.

Why should you work with us?

Empowering, inclusive and career-focused community

You’ll join a community that is empowering, values-driven and career-focused.  You can enjoy experiences such as our annual Disability Inclusion Week or join our network for staff with disability.  We offer disability confidence training to ensure all our staff share our values of diversity and inclusion.

We want your recruitment experience to be inclusive and encourage you to let us know if require any adjustments along the way.

Commitment to accessibility

Diversity and inclusion are prioritised at every level of our University, including our 2020 Culture Strategy.  We aspire to be Australia’s employer and education provider of choice for students and staff with disability.  Our Disability Support Fund facilitates the provision of workplace adjustments and accessible equipment for staff with disability.

Meet some of our staff

Jennie Brand-Miller, Professor of human nutrition

When did you join The University?

I joined the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1978 but transferred to the Department of Biochemistry in 1981.

What changes have you seen during your time at The University in regard to its commitment to Inclusion?

When I joined the University, you were expected to be able-bodied, or at least able to perform without assistance.  There were no listening systems in lecture theatres or meeting rooms.   Many did not have a microphone of any sort.  I told students that I was hearing-impaired and needed them to put up their hand and wait for me to see them.  Some students confided in me that they were hearing-impaired too.

In 1998, I received my first cochlear implant and the second in 2007.   These high-tech gadgets turned my life around and drove home the ultimate value of University research from the most basic to the most applied.  Without them, I’m sure there would be no place for me at a University. 

In early 2001, when I was being interviewed for promotion to Professor, I had to request a smaller room with a smaller table in order to hear questions, but everyone was happy to make the change (it was just a bit embarrassing).   Telephones were an instrument of torture.   I had to ask colleagues to listen to my voicemail and write down the name and phone number to return the call.  In time, the new digital phones made calls easier.  But to be honest voice mail is still a bit of a nightmare.

What advice would you give to people with disability who are interested in working with The University?

I would say go for it.  Not only is the University making strides in the disability inclusion space, I think the vast majority of staff and students are truly sincere in their wish to have a more diverse and inclusive society.  Let’s face it – one in 6 Australians have a hearing impairment and all of us will be disabled in some way as time goes by.

Dr Sheelagh Daniels-Mayes

What is your position at the University?

I am Aboriginal woman who joined the Sydney School of Education and Social Work in 2017 after completing my doctorate at the University of South Australia.  I lecturer and researcher in Aboriginal education and Indigenous Studies and methodologies.  I have a vision impairment and use a variety of adaptive technologies to undertake my work.  I use a guide dog to navigate the world.

What changes have you seen during your time at the University in regard to its commitment to inclusion?

The University of Sydney has made a commitment to being inclusive by working towards systemic change.  Sure, we need individual solutions to some of the barriers we are confronted with as people living with a diversity of disabilities.  But a culture of accessibility and inclusion that works towards a more equitable world needs to be the responsibility of everyone.  The biggest change I have seen since I started is the curiosity of people wanting to know what needs changing and how they can contribute to that change.  I have also seen an increase in being included in the conversation on change and not being an afterthought or having things done to or for me and others living with disability.

What advice would you give for people with a disability who are interested in working with the University?

Do your homework.  Find out what policies, support and equipment are in place.  Before I started, I wanted to know the University’s commitment to providing dedicated roles to support its staff with disability.  For example, because I use a variety of assistive technology, I work closely with the Digital Assistive Technology Lead in ICT, who enables me to navigate the online and print world.

My life’s experience has taught me that you need to be as prepared as you possibly can.  Being a vision-impaired academic is still a rarity and there have been some challenges and frustrations.  But I know who to go to for support, assistance and collaborative problem-solving.

The University is a workplace where I have been able to pursue my passions and push boundaries.  If this is what you’re looking for in a career, the University is the place for you.

Charles Humblet, Educational Designer 

What is your position at the University of Sydney?

I am an Educational Designer for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  I work mostly with academics from the School of Languages and Cultures to design and implement a blended or fully online learning experience for students.

When did you join The University?

I joined the New Technologies in Teaching and Learning team in 1998 in a work experience placement after completing a Diploma in IT (Instructional Multimedia). 

I was a good fit for the team and the role and was offered ongoing casual work which led to longer contracts.   This eventually led to a permanent position in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  Over time my role has evolved to focus more on pedagogy than technology so I went on to complete a Master of Education.

These days I mentor early career academics who have a keen interest in educational design.  I help them to develop skills in online teaching and learning that they can apply when teaching their students. 

What changes have you seen during your time at The University in regard to its commitment to Inclusion?

I have been fortunate to work with some very supportive colleagues.  However, there was very little dedicated support for staff with disability when I commenced at the University in 1998.  With the introduction of a Disability Action Plan and dedicated staff to help implement the plan, inclusion started to really improve.   In 2014, the University established the Disability at Work Network, a network for staff with disability.   Getting involved with DAWN, initially as an interested staff member, then a member of its Steering Committee, and finally as its Chair, has enabled me to see some great improvements in disability inclusion at the University.  

What advice would you give to people with disability who are interested in working with The University?

I didn’t follow the traditional approach and wait for a job to come up.  I was proactive in approaching the University to work in an area that I was interested in.  You can worry that the workplace won’t be accessible or that work practices will be a barrier.  But now I’ve learned that the University wants to provide the adjustments people with disability need to do their job, whether it is building access, flexible working practices or other adjustments. Flexibility is accepted and expected at the University.