How Royal Women’s Hospital used Access and Inclusion Index

The Women's, The Royal Women's Hospital. Pink ball with lines coming out of it.

“The Index gave us a really sensible way to get a baseline and to inform the development of the Women’s Disability Action Plan.” – Michelle Schwensen, Director, Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy

The Royal Women’s Hospital (Melbourne) used the Index to inform the development of its Disability Action Plan (DAP). Recognising that while the enthusiasm and commitment to develop a DAP was evident across the organisation, “in terms of confidence – we just didn’t have it,’ said Michelle. Three months after joining AND, the Women’s completed the Index Comprehensive Self-Assessment. They found that the Index provided a logical and useful way to develop their plan and that their self-assessed scores helped focus their deliverable actions.  

The Women’s DAP was developed during 2019/20 and was informed by active members of its Disability Advisory Group, many of whom have lived experience with disability. With the commitment of its Board and Executive, the Women’s DAP now drives the inclusion of people with disability across the organisation. And while the planned launch in June 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19, Michelle noted that the organisation is still progressing well in the second year of its Plan. Year Two is focused on improving employment outcomes for people with disability by looking at inclusive workplace practices around recruitment, retention and professional development. 

The Women’s is also using the Index to measure and track the progress of its DAP by repeating the Self-Assessment in June 2021. 

“It makes perfect sense to go back and measure the success of the work underway” – Michelle Schwensen 

The Women’s will complete the assessment again in June 2022 to close out the current DAP and inform the next.

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