Private health insurance company, Medibank has been recognised for its accessibility and inclusion of people with disability, particularly through its digital platforms.
The organisation was named a Top Performer in the Australian Network on Disability’s (AND) 2018-19 Access and Inclusion Index alongside IBM and the National Disability Insurance Agency.
Employee Listening Lead at Medibank, Nigel Davis says the Index has provided the company with guidance and support for the last three years, resulting in improved access for people with disability.
“When we looked deeper, we realised we had much more to do when it came to accessibility and inclusion for people with disability,” he says.
“The Index provided us with a detailed analysis of where we should focus our efforts, which helped with planning.”
Mr Davis says it also showed Medibank how they compared to other organisations.
“It was clear we had to do more.
“We took a whole-of-business approach, with the goal of putting inclusion and access for employees and customers at the front of mind.”
Head of Culture and Inclusion at Medibank, Craig Frost says the forums involving other leaders and people with disability played a ‘critical’ role in the planning process.
“We needed to hear directly from employees and customers with disability.
“They told us about their recruitment, employee and customer experiences, giving us more clarity on where we needed to go.”
Medibank launched its first four-year Accessibility and Inclusion Plan last year and has made significant steps in addressing and improving the organisation’s digital access.
“We knew this was an area we needed to improve urgently, so we asked specialist digital access consultants to conduct an accessibility audit.
“They provided us with recommendations we could take on board fairly quickly, improving the digital experience for employees and customers, including our website and mobile apps.
Chief Executive of AND, Suzanne Colbert AM says health care and services play an important role in the lives of people with disability.
“Inclusive health care providers have the power to provide positive experiences to people with disability that enable everyday inclusion.
She also says seeing people with disability working in health care services encourages people with disability to see themselves as employees and aspire to provide care, as well as receive care.
“Health care providers that demonstrate everyday inclusion make it easier for people with disability to get on and live their lives.
Medibank is continuing to review its current level of inclusion and accessibility improvements through employee surveys, employment and customer feedback.
“We keep listening and responding to what we’re doing well and where we can improve,” Mr Frost says.
Despite improvements in creating accessible digital platforms, this medium does not assist all people with disability.
Chairperson of Communication Rights Australia, Julie Phillips says for people with disability, particularly those with complex communication needs, not having accessible access to health care and services can be the difference between life and death.
She says despite some improvements in accessible and inclusive communications, such as digital platforms, without a functional communication method they cannot be utilised.
“I think one of the things the community misses is that people with disability can’t access these digital and mobile platforms, so their ability to connect to the community is severely limited.
“They’re forgetting there’s a segment of the disability community that still has to have more traditional and accessible communications provided to them,” Ms Phillips says.