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Opening doors to career opportunities for people with physical disability

IHG Hotels enters into strategic partnership with SCIA’s EmployAbility

Accessible Group founder, Kerry Williams says she is thrilled with news that IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia’s (SCIA) have entered into a strategic partnership to provide career opportunities for people with a disability across the hotel group’s Australian network.

It was her move to introduce IHG and SCIA’s EmployAbility which had led to the two organisations combining resources to create employment opportunities for people with physical disability.

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Kerry Williams and mum Barbie in Paris

Ms Williams, whose company works to provide people with disabilities with the best available accessible accommodation and travel experiences in Australia,  said the result is a wonderful example of a major tourism brand which understands that people with disabilities not only love to travel, but can also bring high-value skillsets to the tourism industry.

“There is no better way to understand a demographic such as people with disabilities than to employ them,” she said.

“Be it in marketing, accounting or front desk greeting guests, IHG haven’t simply paid lip service, they actually have done something about it with this partnership.

“Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) already had a fantastic employment program for their members which is why I felt IHG and SCIA would be a perfect fit.

“Both organisations have created such an amazing program and I am thrilled!”

The aim of the partnership is to increase employment options beyond a desk role for people with a physical disability, to assist with providing an inclusive environment where guests with a physical disability can feel at ease, while providing IHG colleagues with a strong insight into providing a seamless inclusive service. 

IHG Head of Human Resource Operations – Australasia & Japan, Lynda Ugarte said IHG has been focused on helping to connect more candidates with physical disability.

“And part of this has been forging new relationships to be able to connect with new candidate pools and join untapped talent to a future at IHG,” she said.

“We want to showcase what’s possible for people with a physical disability; and not focus only on office-based roles but also roles within our hotel operations too.”

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay General Manager, Ralf Bruegger said there are plenty of job opportunities out there for people with a disability.

“Let’s not stereotype and make things more complicated than they need to be,” he said.

“I’m proud to be part of the change in providing better opportunities for people with disability and I hope that this encourages other organisations to do the same.”

EmployAbility manager, Phat Ngo said he too is thrilled to be working with IHG to increase disability inclusion within their hotels, and excited to be able to offer these unique opportunities to job seekers with physical disability.

“EmployAbility is a relatively new service that has been designed specifically to support people with physical disability on their journey to work,” Mr Ngo said.

“Many people with physical disability, particularly those who have had to reassess their employment choices after an accident or injury, often choose not to apply to roles due to concerns the employer would deem them unable to perform due to their disability.

“At EmployAbility we work with a number of employers, like IHG Hotels & Resorts, who are developing career opportunities, not just a job, and willing to support the needs of people with physical disability.”

A pilot program with EmployAbility has already kicked off in a number of IHG Hotels, which will see the organization working closely with InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and IHG Sydney Support Centre, to increase its recruitment and employment of people living with physical disability.

Read more about accessible tourism HERE


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