1) Who should have access to a specialist disability employment program?
• Suggest the paper is clear on intent to increase the number of people accessing the program (states that currently only 310K people are accessing the program)
• Consideration should be given to prioritising persons with severe / profound disability seeking employment. It is noted that the 1.4 M figure includes severe / profound for all ages, it would be useful if the paper provided the SDAC figure for severe / profound within the working age bracket.
• The inclusion of SDAC data on the unemployment / underemployment rates in the various cohorts would be useful to further understanding the employment status of this cohort.
• Giving consideration to broadening the scope of the program to touch on NDIS participants who don’t have jobs but have the capacity to get them at critical points of their lives, like leaving school with an arrangement developed so that LACS and support planners could easily hook into the program.
2) How can we simplifying entry into the disability employment support model?
• Assessments should be conducted by skilled staff who have an understanding of the specific disability of the person and the challenges re obtaining and maintaining employment (e.g. persons with Autism are assessed by an appropriate assessor using a an appropriate tool). Using generic assessors and processes will end in poor outcomes.
• Specific assessors and tailored tools would also make the assessment process less burdensome.
3) What employment services and supports would most help people with disability? • Support and services tailored to individual’s needs, skills, experience to not only help them secure a job but also assist them to build their career.
4) What employment services and supports would most help young people?
• Supports to bridge between the transitions from school to work. Support that will help develop the individual skill, ability including developing practical skills. Connect to local job opportunities and relevant local community services.
• The Australian Network on disability (AND) model involves mentoring / assisting PWD in tertiary education to identify and link with potential employers . This successful model could be adapted for PWD where tertiary education isn’t a realistic option.
5) What support do employers need to attract, employ and retain people with disability?
• Incentives to hire PWD – wage subsidies, ongoing coaching and training, Employment assistance funds to cover cost for reasonable adjustment in workplace.
6) How do we best tailor mutual obligation requirements to increase the likelihood of people with disability finding work in the future?
• Consider the appropriateness of mutual obligation as part of DES and impact on PWD who wants employment – is it a necessary challenge or barrier for PWD?
• If the program focused on the severe / profound, mutual obligation wouldn’t be an issue as this cohort primarily relies on the disability Support Pension (where mutual obligation doesn’t apply).
7) How can funding arrangement incentivise good work outcomes?
• Funding arrangements that align incentive to specific, achievable outcomes with a cyclic approach that focuses on continuous improvement for employment of PWD.
8) How do we drive high quality services and supports?
• Promote sector innovation and attitudinal change that focuses on the opportunities and benefits of a diverse workforce that includes employing PWD.
9) How do we measure success?
• PWD level of satisfaction with support, services provided and employment. Employers level of satisfaction with support, services provided and employee’s outcomes.