100 signatures reached
To: Victorian Government
Legislate Online & Remote Inclusion
Right now, many of our most vulnerable, are being excluded or denied access to their community and the workforce. Over the past 8 months, we have seen online options to inclusion be reduced to such a level, they are barely available in some municipalities. We are also seeing companies demand that staff return to the office if they want to keep their jobs.
People with disabilities, single parents and those still 'coviding', are among the many people in our state who are experiencing increased levels of anxiety and loneliness as they find themselves cut off from the communities they once knew.
To address the issue, we need to ensure that online access to events, workshops, seminars, and consultations, as well as work from home opportunities, are guaranteed to continue beyond the pandemic and remove one of the most common barriers to participation.
Why is this important?
Access to community events, workshops and consultations via online mechanisms, is often the only way for many people to participate. Live-streaming and interactive online gatherings removes one of the common barriers to participation for people with physical or intellectual disabilities (including sensory sensitivities) and single parents, people facing financial hardship and those still 'coviding'.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, organisations, companies and the government, managed to move almost all activity to online platforms. Sadly, since mandates were lifted in October 2022, we have seen most online participation options disappear from our communities; leaving some of our most vulnerable people more isolated and alone than ever.
Since the beginning on 2023, we have also seen more companies begin to demand staff return to the office if they wish to keep their jobs; but for many of the aforementioned people, entering or re-entering the workforce was only possible because of the increased availability of work from home jobs.
To ensure these people are not left behind and are included in our society, we need to legislate mandatory online options for participation. This would be restricted to local and state government initiatives or events funded either in part or in full, by any level of government. Furthermore, the Victorian Government needs to encourage and incentivise online access to events, workshops, seminars or consultations provided by private businesses and organisations, so that we can ensure everyone in the state of Victoria, can live a fully participatory life in their community.
The Victorian government must also legislate work from home concessions by any business or company who can reasonably pivot to these arrangements, for people with disabilities, single parents and those who cannot afford the cost of physically going into the office, as well as those still 'coviding'.
We must be a truly equitable and accessible state for ALL people living in Victoria.