Social responsibility is part of corporate responsibility, values and ethics. It’s impossible to be in business in disability or human services and operate on standard ‘for profit’ lines.
The inequities and injustices that the people we serve, who enable our business to exist and succeed, are part of our responsibility to address as business owners. These injustices need to drive not just a commitment to individual quality service, but also service that seeks to address the systemic barriers faced by our clients.
Veritable has been advocating in a range of different areas, from ‘fee free interpreting’ for Aboriginal NDIS participants to new line items in the NDIS schedule of supports to enable culturally safe practice. The list of potential areas for systemic advocacy is long.
In the end, however, it is the individual injustices that strike the hardest. The small decisions that make the biggest impact on a person, their relationships, families and connectedness to the world they live in. From being denied access to their own funds for a much sought after item, to being isolated from their peers in their ‘best interests’.
While many people making such individual decisions do so from a space of genuine care and concern for the person, the overall impact on the person’s individual quality of life must be the yardstick. For these small decisions together make a life. A life engaged in the community, connected to family and country, filled with joy and laughter.
This is where we work – at the intersection of such lives and the systems that support or constrain them. And as a business, all of us providing ‘for profit’ services to NDIS participants must be more than providers. We must be enablers of lives that are rich with meaning and purpose.