Lilli – Airtime Espresso


As a small business owner and employer of a person with a disability, I would love to see more focus on providing support to employers via resources and training to build understanding and capability to manage people with disabilities.

The financial incentive to hire a person with a disability is welcome of course, but employers hiring people for the financial incentive may not create sustainable employment once the benefit runs out. Same thing may happen when junior employees reach full-paid age- hours are cut and given to cheaper employees.

For me, the decision to employ a person with a disability is a socially-driven and personal one. There is less risk involved in hiring a person without a disability, as different disabilities may affect different aspects of working at my cafe, due to the customer facing nature of the work.

I have trialed two people with social/intellectual disabilities. One remains a success in my store, and continues to do great work every day. The other I trialed had attributes that were not compatible with my store and my own management ability. I can’t help but feel that if I had the skills to handle this person’s disability, they may have been a much better fit for my workplace.

Small business do not have much access to training or resources for managing staff with disabilities, and I would love to see more resources, for example online training, etc. I worked in the APS for a short time, and the internal disability awareness and management resources available there would be amazing if they were available to socially conscious small business!