1 & 2. Anyone who cannot find work or is leaving education and qualifies as having a permanent disability which is impacting on them finding paid work.
All types of work should be included, especially work from home and job sharing.There must be a time limit on unpaid work i.e.2 weeks trial.( in order to overcome discrimination by employers, showing how capable a person with a disability can be when in the right job.) Also further education may assist in employability. We should also train those with the correct skills as specialised employment facilitators.
In my opinion the DES model, rarely worked well.
The assessment can be combined for almost all people with the NDIS strength-based assessment at the appropriate age and time and should work together, hand in hand throughout life with regular 2 year combined assessment. E.G. A. Joy,school leaver has been assessed for a year already as work capable level 4, in preparation for work, her plan takes this into account and job seeking starts now. With help from her Plan, School and if needed a specialised employment facilitator. B.Tom has acquired a disability at 28, he was an athlete, who will need retraining for a new career. Using his plan. further education, retraining and employment experts, work capacity level 5, his skills and interests are individually assessed and he works now as a P.E.teacher. C. Sarah,aged 15, is severely incapacitated and has a work capacity of 1, meaning paid work is extremely unlikely, so she will be linked through her assessment with community and volunteering groups.It is important to note that these capacity ratings may change through life and people with a low capacity should always be open to Social enterprises and Self-employment. Self-employment and creating businesses that employ others with disability should also be encouraged and supported where people have the appropriate skills.
3.1. I attended drama school in England & worked very successfully in the theatre as an Actress,dancer,singer for 4 years, Starring in the West End and working at the National Theatre. Unfortunately I was working here in 1981 when I became a Quadraplegic C456 through an incomplete transection of my spinal cord.I worked extremely hard and with a lot of support could push a manual wheelchair with my left foot (never with my arms) and had regained weak arm movements with no triceps and the rest painful by 1986.I met an Australian and moved to Darwin where I gained employment as a Newsreader and presenter On Channel 8 TV, I worked there for 3 years before moving to Brisbane. There I had a Son and did not work for a while. Once well enough and my Son at school I applied for many jobs through the mainstream, with no success and eventually tried DES looking for any paid employment without any outcome, they did not follow through with me at all, I got fed up and disheartened. I had been volunteering during all this time with Meals on wheels/ Aged Care homes/Carers Qld and was becoming an active advocate for People with disability in my region so I decided to apply for the Queensland Regional Disability Council. I worked on this for 12 years and founded several advocacy groups as well.
3.3. To me the main barriers to employment of people with disability is A.seeing their disability first B. Looking at the obstacles first C.Not really looking at skills, interests and life experiences in enough detail. D. Not thinking outside the box E. What can be achieved with technology or 2 or more people working together in 1 job,with different disabilities.
3.4. Training people with disability as co-ordinators to work with NDIS and all the other services Education, health, housing, Centrelink, GP’s,Disability suppliers etc.
4.1. I agree entirely that transition from school to education is the key to success not only now but in the future. If we can make it normal that almost all people with or without a disability who leave school either do so for further education or to go straight into a job, or apprenticeships.
4.2&3. As I alluded to in Q 1, I believe the work for finding employment after school should begin at least a year before the end of school, connecting through NDIS with the school and employment specialists who can work with each individual to achieve their goals and a career where possible. We need to ensure that everyone understands their obligations to society as well as their rights and that paid work is an expectation for all who can physically, mentally or developmentally achieve it.
5.1. I do not believe financial incentives assists in finding and most importantly keeping people in employment. Financial assistance is of course needed if the workplace needs modification or a support worker is needed to assist a person with a job, though I would rather 2 people with different disabilities were paired together to support each other than an able bodied support worker was employed where possible.
The more normal it becomes, to employ those with a disability, the more normal it will become to do so. There should be a campaign across the Country to hold meetings where employers who do not currently (though their workplace and type would be suitable) employ those with a disability, hear from, in a presentation but also speak to, as individuals those who have successfully employed people with a disability. T.V. and radio promotions and advertisements supporting this should be included in the campaign.”Are you lifting people up?” Appealing to employers to do their bit for the vision where everyone can get a job in Australia. A great informative website for Employers and the unemployed to connect, as well as find out what assistance there is, in plain English. (Obviously in other languages as well)
6.. That they comply with a number of hours work, over a period of perhaps a fortnight according to their assessed capability level.
6.2. Volunteering and community work should be included if they are not assessed as being able to hold a full time job and these hours should count.
7.I do not have much experience in this area, so would only reiterate that I believe payment should be made in portions to services. Firstly after someone has acquired a job, then maintained that job for 6 months, a year, 2 years etc. I also believe that if we do more job sharing, which can be concurrent, if support is needed,we can create more jobs for people.
8.6. Yes,we need to train people who work in these employment agencies to think more laterally, to have excellent relationships with local business and to have a true understanding of the needs of a wide range of disabilities. Employing experts in each field, technology/online jobs, retail, manufacturing etc.
9.1.a) Success for people with a disability will mean that the majority of those with a disability assessed above a 1(Severely physically/mentally/cognitively incapacitated) will have a career or job/s permanent Part-time or full time for the majority of their lives and contribute financially to their own and societies upkeep. They will benefit from better mental and physical health as well as a feeling of achievement and inclusion. They are more likely to be in better housing, with an equal opportunity for raising a family and being included in their neighborhood /community. with less reliance on community services.
As they achieve freedom through employment, their family members can also be free to take on employment. Cycles of welfare dependence and poverty can be broken.
9.1.b) Success for the community will mean that they have gained more contributing members who can be part of their Surf Club, Football team etc because they are more financially able, as well as more confident that they will be accepted by the community. The community will be stronger and the “Are you lifting people up” campaign, for example can be utilised here as well, for including people into your community.
9.1.c) Employers will feel successful by employing competent, reliable hard workers, grateful for a job, who bring an extra dimension to the workplace.
9.1.d) Success for employment agencies will be doing their job well, achieving long term, relevant and well paid employment for their clients. Linking, having good professional relationships and communicating well with schools, the NDIS, employers, clients and other services. That their services are valued by all and that both clients and the employers have good things to say about them.
9.1.e) Success for the Government will be when no incentive payments have to be made to the employment agency and it is just paid for finding the person with a disability a good, well paid job (there may be bonus’s for staying in that job for 1 yr, 2 yrs etc?) The Government will also have been successful when most people with a disability are in paid work and some of the financial burden is therefore lifted. Also being able to say that a high percentage of your workforce is made up of people with a disability. The government itself though, does have to lift it’s own game, as it has very low numbers of people who would qualify for the NDIS in it’s workforce, so it needs to lead from the front!
9.2. At peoples NDIS assessment or review, employment figures could be captured. Also the employment agency figures,schools, together with Centrelink numbers should give you most data combined.
9.3. If you go ahead with the Disability Employment website, there could be a reporting portal on there for each category to enter.
9.4. Again I think a specific disability employment website with links to other disability information as well as the NDIS website. Here as well, in simple English, the ‘how to’ would be a list according to your area, of employment agencies, as well as their specialties. A portal for data input, a link to a list of jobs available perhaps, Advice on interviewing, writing C.V.’s, dressing for a job, Do’s and Don’ts in the workplace etc.stories.