Unconscious Bias in 2022: What on Earth is it and how can we Destroy it?

G’day friends and welcome to another week and another blog!

If you live in Australia you might have seen that the GOAT, Dylan Alcott, was on the ABC’s Q&A panel this week discussing all things disability.

We have all head about disability discrimination by now. But what about unconscious bias?? Do you know what it means and what impact it has on the disabled community?

So I thought why not delve into that juicy topic just a little more shall we?

What is Unconscious bias?

me on a white horse called Hazel. I am in all black and smiling at the camera. The unconscious bias that comes from these moments are funny but also sad at the same time.
I will forever love this pic!

Dylan had a brilliant definition of unconscious bias that I need to share with you.

Unconscious bias is a “lack of expectation, negative perception and an assumption that people with disability are broken, less capable and unemployable because of their disability”. – courtesy of https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/remove-the-barrier-dylan-alcott-campaign/

Personally, if I had a dollar for every comment that was made about how shocked people were that I was working, at Uni, volunteering or merely just chatting at a dinner party, I could happily retire. The word Inspirational is really a good ego boost….. but is definitely not needed when I am only drinking a glass of wine.

Don’t get me wrong though, things have moved in a good direction especially in the last 5 or so years in terms of acceptance, and equality for the disabled community. However, like most things there is certainly room for improvement, and removing unconscious bias is one thing that needs to be thrown out the window. Like immediately thank you.

When you reflect on past conversations or thoughts, have you ever been surprised at what people in the disability community have achieved? Was it because you were celebrating a victory in para-sport, the courtroom, the operating room as a surgeon, or did you not expect disabled community members to achieve such things?

I too am guilty of being surprised or shocked. But that wasn’t because of thinking we are less capable or broken. It was because I was surprised to see people in a position of authority or power with a disability. I was so used to seeing ‘abled’ people as surgeons, lawyers, politicians, actors, CEO’s that whenever someone who was disabled was in those roles, I was surprised. But in the best way possible.

There could be many more of us in these positions if we were given a chance, by businesses, and members of the community at large to start challenging their perceptions on what people like me are capable of, and remove their unconscious biases.

More about the workplace

A computer with hazzard tape over it. the computer says 'unfortunately we no longer need your services. An elderly man is sitting with his back towards the computer
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Did you know that there are 1 in 5 Australians or approximately 4 million Aussies with a disability? What if i told you that only 54% are employed? That is almost double the general unemployment rate. In 30 years that number has not changed. – Thanks abc and Dylan for providing those stats!

So you could easily say that unconsious bias is very much a thing in business not only just when going down the street, or at dinner parties.

Don’t get me wrong though! When it comes to hiring people, I am a strong believer that it is ‘best person for the job’. However, if you have two people who are at the top of your list, and the disabled person checks every box on your list, and the other person doesn’t quite check everything, but you hire the ‘abled-bodied’ person purely because of the fact that they are not disabled, then that is something that needs to change.

Removing unconscious bias within society starts at a business level. By having representation within businesses of all walks of life presents such a strong image, and will be sure to remove the unconscious bias that is still unfortunately the elephant in the room.

I am sure though that there are so many questions employers have about the ‘cost’ of aids, sick leave, training etc. However, that is no different to the rest of society. It is just that we may need a little extra helping hand in some ways. That doesn’t mean we are unable to work. In fact, if the employee has a carer with them, they are being payed by someone else, so really you get two sets of hands for the price of one! Now isn’t that worth its weight in gold to a business!

I think you would find that we work harder than our non-disabled counterparts, because we have a point to prove, and are glad to work.

Could you imagine what businesses could do for society if they showed representation and made their building accessible for all? Just a little bit of awareness goes a long way!

To Everyone

A women with glasses, short hair and a blazer, sitting in a wheelchair while working, she has a laptop open and answering a phone call.
Just love these pics on Pexels! Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Everyone deserves a fair chance right? So help your neighbour to get the equality they deserve. Dylan can’t go at it alone. He can’t reduce unconscous bias within society without help. As they say, it takes a village. It will certainly take a village to work towards equality.

So if you see a building, footpath, business or facility that is not 100% accessible, go and have a chat to the mangager, CEO, Mayor or Local Member in Parliament about how it can be changed.

If you are a CEO, look at how you can diversify your staff, or even train your existing staff on how to interact and serve all walks of life. Your profits would definitely benefit if everyone can access your business, and feel welcomed and seen. There are even several incentives from the Government that assists businesses to employ those with disability and keep us employed.

We can achieve ultimate representation and equality. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help. So will you help us??

Till next week,


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