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Building employer confidence to recruit and retain employees with communication disability and low literacy

Scope’s Building Employer Confidence project is developing a suite of training and practical resources to enable mainstream organisations and businesses to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to recruit and retain employees with communication disability and low literacy. While there are many resources available to support employers to facilitate access and inclusion for people with physical and sensory disability, resources to support this cohort of employees and prospective employees specifically, are currently limited.
Approximately 1.2 million Australians (27.4%) live with communication disability. One in seven Australians will experience a communication disability at some stage on their life. Nearly 44% of Australian adults (7.3 million) have literacy levels at level 2 and below, which means reading skills at early secondary school level.
The initial stages of this project have identified that employers experience challenges in successfully recruiting and retaining employees with communication disability and low literacy, often because they are unsure of their access requirements and how to adapt and adjust processes and resources.
This project aims to increase employment opportunities for people with communication disability and low literacy by breaking down myths, changing employers’ perceptions and attitudinal barriers, and providing practical training and targeted resources to support employers and employees alike.



Ashana Comport

Project Worker, Speech Pathologist, Communication Access Consultant, Scope (Aust.)


Ashana Comport is a Speech Pathologist and Communication Access Consultant at Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre (CIRC). Ashana works alongside a range of community, corporate and government organisations to achieve accreditation with the internationally recognised Communication Access Symbol. Ashana has previously worked as Speech Pathologist delivering assessment and therapy to people of all ages under the NDIS scheme, specialising in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) including high-tech assistive technology and Key Word Sign.

Jacob Matthew

Jacob Matthew

Project Worker, Scope Australia

Jacob Matthew is a qualified Access Consultant who also works for Scope Australia in it’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre. Jacob has a strong passion for advocating for a fair and equitable community for people who live with a disability. Recently, he has been working as a project worker on the “Building Employer Confidence to Recruit and Retrain Employees with Communication Difficulties or Low Literacy”. Scope have partnered with Thriving Communities Partnership to deliver this Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Project funded by the Department of Social Services. Jacob is passionate about advocating for access and inclusion for all people with disabilities, especially with communication difficulties or low literacy. From his own personal experiences, Jacob understands that is challenging for people with disabilities to find and retain meaningful employment and is passionate about this topic.