On 2 November 2019, Theresa Jennings approached the QLS booth at the QLS Succession and Elder Law Conference. As a QLS member and early career lawyer, she sought one thing from her member organisation: connection.
Theresa is hearing impaired and wanted to know whether QLS could connect her with other professionals who had shared experiences with diverse abilities. At the time, we didn’t have a readily available network to connect Theresa to, so we created one.
On 7 February 2020, QLS hosted the inaugural meeting of, what is now known as the QLS Diverse Abilities Network. In attendance were (in alphabetical order), Ashleigh DoRozario, Carol Taylor, Fiona Yeang, Jess Hawkes, Michael Bidwell and Theresa Jennings; the founding members. The purpose and size of this group has grown beyond connecting individuals who want to share and learn from each other’s lived experiences to raising awareness of the issues one ought to consider with the language of ability, the diversity of ability and equality in the profession. They are increasing visibility of members with diverse abilities, improving accessibility of services and products* and perhaps most importantly, helping us create a more inclusive profession.
They are increasing visibility of members with diverse abilities, improving accessibility of services and products* and perhaps most importantly, helping us create a more inclusive profession.
This week (September 13-19) celebrates Disability Action Week in Queensland. The week acknowledges the important and varied contributions people living with a disability make to our state. The week also aims to empower people with disability, raise awareness of disability issues, and improve access and inclusion throughout the wider community.
To celebrate, acknowledge and empower the QLS Diverse Abilities Network, QLS is proud to share with the profession the QLS DIVERSE ABILITIES NETWORK – ACCESSIBILITY GUIDE. The guide, created by the founding members of the QLS Diverse Abilities Network, includes a list of simple measures that may greatly assist people with diverse abilities who frequent or visit your workplace and in doing so, assist you in providing a more inclusive workplace. After all, true inclusivity means there is a place for every (diverse) ability in law.
You can access the guide can be found here, under ‘Organisational Resources’.
If you are interested in joining the QLS Diverse Abilities Network or have any suggestions to improve the guide, please contact a member of the Diverse Abilities Network or Sheetal Deo at firstname.lastname@example.org
*QLS on-demand products are now closed-captioned.