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 programs to help people with disability find and maintain work:

Supported Employment

Supported employment currently refers to employment in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs). ADEs are generally businesses that employ mostly people with disability and support them in their job. ADEs are businesses enabling people with disability to work in a range of industries – from design, printing and packaging, to manufacturing, laundry and landscaping.

Funding for supported employment is transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). NDIS participants can access supported employment through their NDIS plans. Current supported employees who are not eligible for the NDIS will continue to receive support through the Continuity of Support program.

Disability Employment Services

Disability Employment Services (DES) deliver employment assistance for job seekers with disability. DES is 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.

More information on Disability Employment Services can be found on the Disability Employment Services webpage.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Participant Employment Taskforce

On Monday 19 November 2018, the Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, and Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, announced the establishment of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Participant Employment Taskforce (the Taskforce).

The Taskforce has been established to improve employment outcomes for NDIS participants.

The Taskforce will work with NDIS participant representatives, employment service providers and other organisations to ensure employment is prioritised in the NDIS planning and plan review process. It will improve employment supports in participant plans, including greater use of existing employment services.

The Taskforce’s Terms of Reference set out the role of the Taskforce and its key deliverables. The Terms of Reference are available on the NDIS Participant Employment Taskforce - Terms of Reference webpage.

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