The possibilities of connectivity – using smart networks, smart devices, social media and personalised apps – are endless for governments, businesses and communities, as well as individuals.

Telstra wants to make those possibilities real for all Australians – including people with disability.

As Australia’s largest telecommunications company, we are in a unique position to help build more inclusive workplaces and communities. It is part of who we are and a demonstration of our company values, especially ‘Show you Care’.

That’s why we’ve implemented five Disability Action Plans (DAP) since 1996. The independent review of our fifth DAP, completed in 2013, found that 94 per cent of the actions we committed to were either completed or ongoing – calling these ‘outstanding results’.

One of the highlights of the fifth DAP was the creation of the Supported Workforce Program – a procurement initiative with 14 community groups that is employing more than 300 people with disabilities to clean and maintain Telstra exchanges and network sites around the country.

The independent review of our fifth DAP said it was a significant achievement and a foundation for Telstra to ‘enhance its role as an international leader in corporate responsibility for people with disability.’

I agree. That’s why I have such high hopes for Telstra’s sixth DAP. The Plan has been lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission and will be independently reviewed.

The key features of our sixth Plan include:

  • Increasing the accessibility of Telstra information for customers with disability;
  • Highlighting the accessibility features of Telstra products and services;
  • Maintaining and enhancing our core disability programs;
  • Reviewing and updating the accessibility guidelines for Telstra stores; and
  • Significantly expanding our Supported Workforce Program.

Our goal is to make a difference to the customers and communities we serve, and the people we employ.

Ultimately, our purpose is to enable every single one of us to live our lives to the full. It’s all about creating a brilliant connected future for everyone.