Employment services for people with an Acquired Brain Injury(ABI).
People with ABI are a large group, approx. 2%of the population. An ABI can impact on all domains of functioning; Physical, cognitive, behavioural, sensory,communication and psychosocial. Each brain injury and its impact is unique to that individual. ABI is usually a lifelong disability. Being a sudden onset disability most people with ABI have considerable pre-existing and intact skills and knowledge which can be matched with employment opportunities. However people with ABI have poor employment outcomes.
Employment programs for people with ABI.
There are limited specialist employment services for people with ABI.The loss of CRS has compounded this problem. Generic employment services require ABI consultation about individuals so as to appropriately support them into employment. A common problem is generic services not applying appropriate strategies for common ABI problems such a memory impairments.
A change of work tasks or environment can be overwhelming for people with ABI and lead to job placement failure. Generic services are not sufficiently aware and responsive to this.
Employment services change staff/consultants frequently exacerbating clients’ difficulties coping with change.
Services often don’t understand the trajectory of recovery for ABI. For example a service may advise a client that they will impose a moratorium on providing employment services until the client re-gains their drivers licence. The reality is that this task may take years and a timely employment service intervention is lost.
Employment services often do not understand important differences between intellectual disability and ABI. Consequently they utilise a formula for service provision that does not respond to the unique constellation of problems a person with an ABI may have. Therefore the service is not individualised.
The Centrelink Job Capacity Assessment is too course grained and does not give enough detail for employment services to be able to design effective support strategies.
Employment services are not funded to provide and support essential pre-vocational activities such as voluntary work and other employment conditioning programs.
1.Better assessment of people with ABI by Centrelink so as to improve the quality of referrals to employment services
2.Specialist ABI consultation services funded and provided to employment services
3. Funded capacity for employment services to provide pre-vocational activities
4. Specialist training programs funded for employment services