Backing the Future: Josie Clarke
"Agcess is backing the future by creating pathways into agriculture for young people with disability & empowering agribusinesses to be transparent about their accessibility. The VFFF Backing the Future grant has enabled me to bring to life a tailored, accessible careers site. This is an important part of the solution for broader diversity, inclusion and economic growth in our rural communities." - Josie Clarke
Josie grew up on a beef cattle farm on the North Coast of New South Wales. When she was five, her father became a paraplegic. Driven by her family’s experience, Josie founded Ability Agriculture in 2021. Over the past two years, she has built a powerful community focused on sharing the stories and voices of those with disability in agriculture.
Josie’s Backing the Future grant has enabled the development of AgCess, a job site which allows employers to outline the accessibility features of a role or workplace. At the heart of this project is the recognition that workers with disability are talented, skilled and a great fit for many positions.
Grants funds enabled Josie to hire a software engineer to develop AgCess and will also support advertising and marketing for the product launch. Josie realised early on that the platform could not be an off-the-shelf option, and would need to incorporate a range of accessibility requirements for users. She hopes others may be able to adopt this technology into the future.
While developing this resource, Josie has continued to build the profile of Ability Agriculture. You can learn more about Josie’s story by watching Landline, listening to her episode of Sandra Sully’s Short Black podcast, or reading this ABC profile.