Australian Disability Enterprises are commercial businesses that provide employment for people with disability. Previously called Business Services, the Australian Disability Enterprises name, logo and an Australian Disability Enterprise Business Directory were launched on 28 November 2008 at an Australian Disability Enterprise in Melbourne. The new name brings together all Australian Disability Enterprises under a unified national brand.
There are 192 Australian Disability Enterprise outlets across Australia, providing supported employment assistance to approximately 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability who need substantial ongoing support to maintain their employment. Australian Disability Enterprises are funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
What Australian Disability Enterprises do
Australian Disability Enterprises are commercial enterprises enabling people with disability to engage in a wide variety of work tasks such as packaging, assembly, production, recycling, screen printing, plant nursery, garden maintenance and landscaping, cleaning services, laundry services and food services. Employees of Australian Disability Enterprises enjoy the same working conditions as those in the general workforce.
Who is my local Australian Disability Enterprises provider?
With 325 Australian Disability Enterprise outlets across Australia, there is likely to be a provider in your region.
The Australian Disability Enterprise sector in Australia has its roots in the early 1950s when families of people with disability established sheltered workshops to provide vocational activity for people with disability. At this time employment opportunities for people with disability were extremely limited.
The introduction of the Commonwealth Disability Services Act (1986) enshrined principles and objectives for disability service delivery into legislation. From this time, the older style sheltered workshops moved into a business services model, as employment for people with disability emerged as a national priority for the Australian Government.
Nearly ten years later in 1996 the Australian Government announced further reforms to improve service quality, to match service funding to the support needs of people with disability receiving assistance, and to link funding to employment outcomes.
Since that time an agenda of reforms have been introduced to the Australian Disability Enterprise sector. The mainstays of the reforms are the introduction of legislated Quality Assurance standards that must be independently assessed as met as a pre-condition of ongoing funding from the Australian Government, and a funding model that links payments to individual support needs.
What if I want more information?
For further information about:
- working in an Australian Disability Enterprise, or seeking further information about Australian Disability Enterprises for a person in your care:
- purchasing products and services from Australian Disability Enterprises, visit the Australian Disability Enterprises website
- call Centrelink on 13 2717
- Australian Disability Enterprises Information for school leavers
- Australian Disability Enterprises Information for parents and carers