Disability Employment Assistance program– Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE)

Transitioning supported employees to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

In line with the national rollout of the NDIS, the Disability Employment Assistance (DEA) program will end on 30 June 2020.

The DEA program is a defined program, meaning supported employees working in an ADE and funded under this program will generally satisfy disability requirements, without further evidence required.

Supported employees need to act now and start their transition to the NDIS as soon as possible.

All existing supported employees (under the age of 65 years) will need to make an Access Request to the NDIS before February 2020 to continue receiving employment supports.

An Access Request can be made two ways:

  • A Verbal Access Request (VAR) can be made over the phone by calling the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110, or
  • A paper Access Request Form (ARF) can be filled out. These forms are available from your local NDIS office.


Access Requests for the NDIS can take time to process, so start now

Supported employees, their family or carers can contact the NDIA or their employer directly for further information about transitioning to the NDIS.

For providers

As the NDIS rolls out across Australia, ADEs need to encourage their supported employees to make an Access Request with the NDIA. This can be done over the phone or via a printed form (see above).

The NDIA has introduced a range of measures to ensure that plan reviews can take place quickly if employment was not covered in a plan and should be. If a participant wishes to add employment supports into an existing plan, they should contact their NDIS planner or their Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to arrange a plan review.

All ADEs are encouraged to register with the NDIS. Providers must register with the NDIS as a service provider in order to claim services delivered to NDIS participants.

Continuity of Support

Supported employees who are funded by the DEA program and ineligible for the NDIS will receive supports via the Department of Social Services’ Continuity of Support arrangements.

Future of disability employment

While the disability employment landscape is changing, the Government is committed to improving employment outcomes for people with disability.

The Government is considering future supported employment policy to ensure the 20,000 supported employees currently in ADEs continue to have access to meaningful employment, and to ensure that employment supports under the NDIS continue to foster employment opportunities for people with disability.

The Government has provided more than $1.1 billion in funding for supported employment. This includes funding to assist ADEs during a period of significant adjustment, and support for ADEs to respond to a changing industrial relations environment, while also preparing to take advantage of the NDIS.

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