Water and Environmental Regulation Disability Access and Inclusion Plan

Our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) 2018-2023 reflects the department’s value ‘Better Together’ and recognises people with disability have the same rights as other members of the community.
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The plan is designed to improve the access of people with disabilities to our information, services, events, facilities and employment opportunities.

Our new plan exceeds government accessibility standards and meets the department’s commitment to meeting its legislative requirements and, access and inclusion objectives.

Overview - Director General's foreword

I am pleased to present the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Disability access and inclusion plan 2018-2023. In line with our value, Better Together, the department recognises that people with disability, their families and carers, have the same rights as other members of the community to access employment and services, information and facilities, and to participate in community consultation processes.

Designed to assist the department to meet its obligations under the Disability Services Act 1993, the Western Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992, this plan takes a strategic approach to meeting the agency’s access and inclusion objectives.

According to the Diversity Council of Australia’s State of Inclusion in the Australian workforce 2017-2018 Index, inclusion “fuels team performance and employee satisfaction, success and security, while minimising the risk of harassment and discrimination … benefiting everyone, not only the intended targets of diversity and inclusion strategies and initiatives".

To create sustainable change, diversity and inclusion must be integrated in our infrastructure; in the way we do business; in our managerial capabilities; and in the employee experience. Accordingly, the access and inclusion strategies and objectives in this plan will inform the development of the department’s Workforce and Diversity Plan under direction from the department’s Equity and Diversity Panel (see appendix 1).

My Executive is committed to monitoring the implementation process to determine its success or otherwise in meeting the needs of our employees and the wider community that engages with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

I commend the staff of the department for their commitment to an inclusive workplace in support of attracting, retaining and fully engaging a diverse range of talent in support of the agency’s work.

Finally, I wish to thank the Department of Communities for the guidance and assistance it has provided throughout the development of our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan as we strive together to make a difference for the people of Western Australia.

Mike Rowe
Director General

Our values

The values by which we work

About the plan

Disability defined

According to the Disability Services Act 1993 “disability” means a disability –

  • which is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of those impairments; and
  • which is permanent or likely to be permanent; and
  • which may or may not be of a chronic or episodic nature; and
  • which results in –
    • a substantially reduced capacity of the person for communication, social interaction, learning or mobility; and
    • a need for continuing support services.

Our commitment to access and inclusion

Western Australia’s unique environment is a valuable community asset, and one that the department is helping to protect for the benefit of current and future Western Australians.

All members of the public are encouraged to contribute to the environmental impact assessment and water resource management processes as well as the development of policy and programs.

The department is committed to providing consultation opportunities to all people, including those with disability, their families and carers, and the organisations that represent them, to ensure that barriers to access and inclusion are addressed appropriately.

Diversity inclusion statement

On 13 April 2018, the department’s Corporate Executive endorsed the following statement:

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation works to ensure the state’s water resources and environment are healthy and able to support a strong economy and thriving communities, now and in the future.

In undertaking this work we recognise the rights of all to mutual respect and acceptance without biases based on differences of any kind.

We recognise and value the unique qualities, ideas and perspectives each brings to our workplace, and are sensitive to the challenges faced by some in the work environment.

And we commit to a fair and inclusive workplace in which all employees are encouraged and supported to reach their full potential.

Planning for better access and inclusion

The Western Australian Disability Services Act 1993 requires all public authorities to develop and implement a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. The plan must outline the ways in which the department will ensure that all people have equal access to its facilities and services.

The Disability Services Regulations 2013 provide for seven outcome areas. These also form the basis of our department’s Implementation Plan.

The Western Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 recognises that people with disability require, and are entitled to, the same level of service available to other members of the community. This Act also makes it unlawful for a person to discriminate against any person on the grounds of impairment.

This plan provides a framework for the identification of access and inclusion limitations at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Strategies to improve access and inclusion

This is the department’s first Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, however the three former agencies that make up the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have a long history of disability access and inclusion initiatives.

The strategies implemented by the three former agencies were reviewed and those still to be achieved carry forward into this plan.

Given the department’s proposed relocation to Joondalup, the strategies are designed to allow for a flexible response to emerging access and inclusion needs.

At the time of writing, the department does not employ agents and contractors to deliver departmental services to the public. Should this change, the department will develop strategies to inform contracted service providers about the requirements of this Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.

These strategies are documented on pages 6 to 8 of this document and will be used to guide the identification of initiatives in support of annual implementation plans for the life of this plan.

Development of the plan

Responsibility for the planning process 

The department’s Workforce Development team has oversight of the development and review of the plan and its implementation. The Equity and Diversity Panel (formerly the Equity and Diversity Reference Group) provides input and supports the delivery of the plan across the entire agency. 

Consultation and communication process

Feedback on the draft plan was sought internally from the department’s then Equity and Diversity Reference Group, Corporate Executive and the wider staff body, and externally from the Department of Communities (Disability Services Commission), various disability organisations and the general public via advertising in The West Australian newspaper and on the department’s website. Both internal and external consultation processes included the collection of data by way of online surveys. 

Monitoring the implementation process


The department will review the plan every five years in accordance with the Disability Services Act 1993. A progress report will be made on 30 June of each interim year in which the department will document outcomes of the annual implementation plan against the seven outcomes of the plan. 
In addition, the department is committed to reporting key achievements to support and enhance access and inclusion for people with disability in the department’s annual report.


Implementation of the plan is the responsibility of all directorates.
The Workforce Development team guides the overall implementation of the plan, which identifies the:

  • broad strategy that the individual tasks support
  • individual tasks being undertaken
  • directorates responsible for completing individual tasks.


The plan is available to all department employees and members of the Western Australian community, including people with disability, and their families and carers. The documents are available on the public website at www.dwer.wa.gov.au and the department’s intranet.

A public notice in The West Australian Newspaper informed the community of the plan’s release and its availability in alternative formats upon request, including in standard and large print, Braille, electronic format by email, and in audio format on CD.


Outcome 1: People with disability have the same opportunities as other people to access the services of and any events organised by DWER.


  • 1.1 - The Equity and Diversity Panel will guide and monitor the implementation of the DAIP. (ongoing)
  • 1.2 - Department events, stakeholder engagement processes and service provision will be inclusive of and accessible to people with disability. (ongoing)
  • 1.3 - Investigate DWER grant funding programs to encourage grant recipients to consider access and inclusion issues. (June 2020)
  • 1.4 - Investigate opportunities to co-fund PhD research into how we work with the disability community in support of environmental regulation best practice. (June 2021)


  • Equity and Diversity Panel to develop Equity and Diversity framework for agency (ongoing).
  • Equity and Diversity Panel to inform development of Workforce and Diversity Plan 2018-2023 – including improving workforce diversity to reflect the community in which we operate.
  • Review event consultation and associated customer feedback processes.
  • Staff are made aware of the DAIP and their associated responsibilities:
    • The plan is placed on the intranet and staff advised by broadcast email.
    • Staff with responsibilities under the DAIP are provided a copy of the plan.
    • New staff are made aware of the plan via the induction program.
  • Ensure additional standard infrastructure such as audio loop is available on request.
  • Develop Access and Inclusion Policy and associated guidelines.
  • Annual broadcast reminders for staff.

Outcome 2: People with disability have the same opportunities as other people to access the buildings and other facilities of DWER.


  • 2.1 - The department will work towards ensuring its buildings and facilities (regional and metropolitan) are accessible to, and meet the needs of, people with disability. (Ongoing)
  • 2.2 - Ensure appropriate signage is in place to meet the needs of people with disability. (Ongoing)
  • 2.3 - Ensure parking and transport accessibility options are considered in the planning of events and stakeholder engagement processes. (Ongoing)
  • 2.4 - Ensure that Chief Wardens and First Aid Officers are trained in evacuation and safety procedures for people with disability. (June 2019)


  • Identify departmental facilities that are accessible to people with disability:
  • Audit meeting rooms for access and inclusion using Department of Communities Access Resources Kit checklist.
  • Make available audio loop facilities when required.
  • Identify access and inclusion features in meeting room booking function.
  • Audit ACROD bays at department locations and address identified problems.

Outcome 3: People with disability receive information from DWER in a format that will enable them to access the information as readily as other people are able to access it.


  • 3.1 - Ensure department information, including the DWER website, meets accessibility standards and is available upon request in alternative formats suitable for people with disability. (Ongoing)
  • 3.2 - Ensure there is on-request access to interpreter services for people with disability. (Ongoing)
  • 3.3 - Review accessibility and formatting of website department intranet site, and develop colour guides for provision of documents, maps and statistical information. (March 2019)


  • Regular and review of website – internet and intranet pages.
  • Ensure new documents added to DWER’s website meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, level AA or greater.
  • Update checklists and associated guidance for staff engaging interpretation or translation services to reflect WA Language Services Policy 2014 requirements.
  • Promote plain language resources to staff.
  • Promote colours guides use and application to staff in support of delivering information in alternative and accessible formats.
  • Promote on-request interpreting services on department’s internet and intranet pages.

Outcome 4: People with disability receive the same level and quality of service from the employees of DWER as other people receive from the employees of DWER.


  • 4.1 - Ensure employees are adequately trained in relation to service provision for people with disability . (Ongoing)
  • 4.2 - Raise employee awareness about specific requirements for including people with disability in their service provision. (Ongoing)
  • 4.3 - Investigate development of Staff Community Involvement Program to encourage DWER staff to volunteer at organisations with a focus on disability. . (June 2019)


  • Improve staff volunteer awareness of disability access issues through development of online diversity training.
  • New staff to be provided information about department resources including policies, guidelines, access checklists, safety procedures and key agency contacts.
  • Maintain up-to-date information on department’s Equity and Diversity intranet pages.
  • Review employment support information about attracting, recruiting and retaining people with disability.
  • Prepare and deliver learning and engagement activities in support of International Day of People with Disability (3 December) each year.

Outcome 5: People with disability have the same opportunities as other people to make complaints to DWER.


  • 5.1 - Ensure DWER complaints management system and processes are accessible to people with disability. (Ongoing)
  • 5.2 - Ensure complaints policy and procedures are accessible for people with disability. (Ongoing)


  • Equity and Diversity Panel to monitor and address complaints received about disability access.
  • Review and revise current mechanisms for complaints handling and ensure associated documents are suitable for access by people with disability.
  • Review the department’s Language Services Policy and Procedure in line with the WA Language Services Policy 2014.
  • Provide tele-support options for deaf or hard of hearing information on website and appropriate documents.

Outcome 6: People with disability have the same opportunities as other people to participate in any public consultation by DWER.


  • 6.1 - Ensure appropriate protocols to support community consultation are established and implemented to ensure accessibility for people with disability. (Ongoing)
  • 6.2 - Seek a broad range of views on access and inclusion issues from the local community. (Ongoing)
  • 6.3 - Develop Access and Inclusion guidelines for internal training resources and communications, and cultural events. (June 2019)


  • Review community consultation processes to encourage participation by people with disability and ensure communications needs are met.
  • Provide sufficient notice of meetings (one month) and sufficient community consultation periods (two months).

Outcome 7: People with disability have the same opportunities as other people to obtain and maintain employment with DWER.


  • 7.1 - Develop innovative strategies to improve the attraction, recruitment and retention of employees with disability. (June 2019)
  • 7.2 - Provide employees the necessary resources to perform their best at work ensuring operational practices do not inhibit their outputs and achievements. (Ongoing)
  • 7.3 - Raise awareness of Social Procurement Initiatives and the engagement of Australian Disability Enterprises. (Ongoing)
  • 7.4 - Participate in Public Sector Commission’s Adults with Disability Traineeship Program. (June 2019)


  • Embed access and inclusion initiatives in educational and awareness raising activities.
  • Ensure employment advertisements and all supporting documentation is available in alternative formats on request.
  • Use disability recruitment specialists.
  • Maintain register of recruitment agencies providing services to people with disability.
  • Develop disability awareness recruitment skills supporting resources for interview panel members.
  • Equity and Diversity Panel to provide quarterly reports on access and inclusion outcomes and employment statistics to Corporate Executive.
  • Support flexible work options to sustain employment opportunities and initiatives for people with disability.
  • Review of procurement policies and procedures.

Feedback form

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation values your comments about its Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. 

Your feedback is welcome at any time and will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Access our feedback form.

Proposed DWER workforce planning structure

Proposed workforce planning structure

Proposed workforce committee would contain 4 sub-panels:

  • Capability and Development Panel,
  • Recruitment,
  • Structure and Establishment Panel,
  • Equity and Diversity Panel and finally;
  • Engagement and Alignment.

Under the Capability and development panel are 4 responsibilities:

  1. Capability and Development which includes: Graduate Program, Leadership Development, Mentoring/Rotations
  2. Culture and Diversity Events which includes: Harmony Day, NAIDOC Week, Woman’s Day
  3. Employee Recognition which includes: Graduation Awards and Informal and formal Recognition
  4. WDP Implementation which includes: Review and Enhancements

Under the Recruitment, Structure and Establishment Panel are 4 responsibilities:

  1. Establishment which Sets establishment profile
  2. Restructure which Review structure and Introduce reviews and changes to structure
  3. Recruitment which Establish recruitment priorities and monitor implementation
  4. Organisation Design which Establish organisation structure.

Under the Equity and Diversity Panel are 4 responsibilities:

  1. Equity and Diversity which includes: RAP Plan and PSC Indigenous Traineeships
  2. Substantive Equality which includes: Unconscious Bias, Language Services and Education/Awareness
  3. Employment Strategies which includes: Flexible work practice, Unconscious Bias, Diversity in Leadership and Governance/Statutory Requirements
  4. Access and Inclusion which includes: DAIP and Education/Awareness

Under Engagement and Alignment are 4 responsibilities:

  1. Values Alignment which includes: Establish measure to assess and monitor Values Alignment and Develop and Implement Strategy to maintain and improve alignment
  2. Engagement and Alignment which includes: Establish measures to assess and then monitor engagement and Develop and implement strategy to maintain and improve engagement
  3. Retention and Succession which includes: Develop and implement strategy to assess retention and key intellectual property and ensure appropriate succession
  4. Exit which includes: Develop and implement strategy to improve Exit process, in particular focus on translation of key intellectual property