Employment for People with Disability

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring people with disability receive opportunities to reach their potential through participating in the community and the workforce.

There are two types of specialist agencies to help people with disability find and maintain work:

Australian Disability Enterprises

Australian Disability Enterprises provide real and meaningful employment for people with disability. There are around 20,000 people with disability working in more than 600 Australian Disability Enterprises Australia-wide. The Disability Employment Assistance page provides resources to assist Australian Disability Enterprises.

Australian Disability Enterprises are businesses enabling people with disability to work in a range of industries – from design, printing and packaging, to manufacturing, laundry and landscaping. Employees enjoy the same working conditions as those in the general workforce.

Australian Disability Enterprises sell their products and services to a wide customer base, including business and government.  A new Australian Disability Enterprise website was launched in early 2009 to enable buyers to search the full range of products and services offered.

For further information about working in an Australian Disability Enterprise, or for a person in your care:

Disability Employment Services

On 1 March 2010, the Australian Government introduced the new Disability Employment Services (formerly Disability Employment Network and Vocational Rehabilitation Services), delivering employment assistance for job seekers with disability. Disability Employment Services are delivered by a network of organisations around Australia. These organisations play a specialist role in helping people with disability, injury or health condition get ready to look for a job, find a job and keep a job. They offer a range of supports to meet individual needs, including:

  • help to prepare for work including training in specific job skills
  • job search support such as resume development, interview skills training and help to look for suitable jobs
  • support when initially placed into a job, including on-the-job training and co-worker and employer support
  • ongoing support in a job if required
  • purchase of vocational training and other employment-related assistance
  • access to help for an employer if required, such as workplace modifications, support services and Auslan interpreting in the workplace.

An Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) is used to identify a job-seeker's vocational and von-vocational barriers to finding and maintaining employment, their work capacity and ongoing support needs. The ESAt recommends the most appropriate employment service assistance for job seekers and can also identify interventions that may help them overcome identified barriers.

All services funded by the Australian Government have to meet the requirements of the Quality Strategy for Disability Employment and Rehabilitation Services.

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