Initiatives to address employment participation
Attend a public forum
Public forums are open to everyone with an interest in disability employment. At the forums you will hear about the work of the Taskforce and contribute to discussion on the issues related to disability employment in Australia. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and to share your thoughts on current disability employment programmes and ways to improve them. Representatives from the Australian Government will be available to respond to your questions.
Here are locations, dates and times for the forums.
People With Disabilities Australia President Craig Wallace addressed the implications of the 2015 Federal Budget for the disability community in the press release below.
2015 Budget: modest but welcome measures for disability
12 May 2015
PWDA welcomes the 2015 Budget commitments to a modest but promising package of initiatives to address employment participation of people with disability.
“For some time, PWDA has called for a comprehensive jobs plan, and tonight we see the beginnings of this plan”, said Mr Craig Wallace, PWDA President. “The JobAccess Gateway could be a promising beginning for a new system which is more responsive and accountable to people with disability and employers”.
“We especially welcome the provision of funding to allow people employed in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) or workshops, to access support from a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider for up to two years to assist with securing employment in the open labour market. Currently people can only access DES support by leaving an ADE. This new measure will remove a deterrent facing people with disability seeking open employment as an alternative to an ADE.
“We also welcome measures that allow young people with disability to receive employment assistance from DES providers while still participating in State and Territory post school employment programs. “PWDA offers cautious support for the new higher outcome measures for DES providers who will now be funded on the basis of providing at least 23 hours of work to people who have been assessed as having this work capacity. We do however, think it will be important that DES providers are appropriately resourced to be able to provide job opportunities in a tightening employment market.
“PWDA welcomes the Abbott Government’s ongoing commitment to the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), including its extension to outer western Sydney region as well as improvements to the ICT in the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
“We welcome the focus on assistance for students with disability outlined in the press release from Minister Pyne. We will be reviewing the detail of these measures in coming days.
We support the decision to continue with the current indexation arrangements for the Disability Support Pension (DSP), and we hope the Government will continue the focus on positive employment initiatives rather than punitive welfare measures.”
NDIS Citizens’ Jury releases scorecard
Results from a citizens’ jury assessing the progress of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have been released in the form of a scorecard report.
The scorecard was handed over in a live-streamed question and answer event involving witnesses, jurors and other participants at the National Disability Insurance Agency Office in Geelong on Tuesday 19 May.
In February this year, a diverse group of NDIS trial site participants appeared before a randomly selected citizens’ jury and gave testimony about their experiences. Advocates witnesses with a broader reach, focus groups of people with an intellectual disability and a national social media forum also fed into the deliberations of the jury.
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) coordinated the innovative user-led assessment of the NDIS. The model drew on some processes of a courtroom jury, targeting participants on the ground and encouraging them to provide a frank and honest assessment of their experiences of the NDIS.
The jury was tasked with assessing the extent to which the National Disability Insurance Agency is on-track to achieve the objectives of the NDIS, as outlined by the Productivity Commission, and to identify areas for improvement. The jury heard direct responses from participants and has produced a written scorecard. A summary of the verdict is below.
“PWDA share the jury’s view that the NDIS is starting to enable quality of life outcomes for people with disability that would otherwise be unobtainable,”
“We think they pinpoint issues requiring attention including:
- the need for ongoing development of the skills and roles of planners and Local Area Coordinators
- the need for participant capacity building and
- a need to accelerate information, linkages and capacity building supports”.
“Importantly, a number of recommendations point to the need for ongoing independent advocacy for people with disability going into the planning process,”
“There continues to be skewed power relationships between providers and NDIS participants and these are brought into sharp focus by the alarming barriers faced by the advocate witness in gaining access to NDIS participants in the largest disability institution to transfer to the NDIS to date,” said Mr Wallace.
PWDA agrees with the jury’s recommendation to seek robust and routine feedback about the NDIS’s performance from participants into the future and we hope this jury process is continued.
“We have an opportunity for ongoing transparency and to continue to track the extent that the NDIS is actually achieving the vision that the Australian people have supported,” said Mr Wallace.
The NDIS Citizens’ Jury Scorecard PDF can be downloaded by clicking this link.
The NDIS Citizens’ Jury Scorecard Word Version can be downloaded by clicking this link.
Full background to the Citizens’ Jury process can be accessed by clicking this link.