Disability Services Standards – easy English

About this book

This book tells you all about the 12 Disability Services Standards.

You will find a

Quick List of the 12 Standards

at the end of this book

Key Words


A word for talking about how good something is.

Disability Employment Service

A service is a place you go when you want help to find and keep a job.

Disability Services Standards

The Standards are rules that tell services how to give you good quality help.

Job Plan

Your service will help you to work out your job plan. The job plan says...

  • what jobs you like
  • what training you need
  • how to find a job.

Government Funding

The Government gives money to Disability Employment Services each year as long as they follow the Standards.

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Audit Team

A team of people who visit your service. Their job is to check if the service is following the Standards.

Service Users

You and other people who use a service.

Service Staff

The people who work at a service.

Name Tag

You can tell who the service staff are in this book because they wear a name tag.

About the Standards

The Disability Services Standards are rules that tell Disability Employment Services how to make sure they give people with disabilities a good quality service.

The Australian Government gives money to Disability Employment Services to...

  • help people with disabilities find and keep a job
  • support people with disabilities in their jobs.

In return, the Government expects every service in Australia to follow the Standards.

Some questions people ask about the Standards

What are the Standards?

The Standards tell your service how to make sure that they…

  • have the right attitude to working with you
  • give you the right help to find and keep a job
  • find the right way to help you get the job you want
  • have the right staff to do the work
  • are well managed.

There are 12 Standards.

We explain the 12 Standards previously.


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Why are the Standards important?

The Standards are important because they tell you your rights...

  • when you go to a service
  • when you are looking for a job
  • when you are working in a job.

How does the Government know if my service is following the Standards?

An Audit Team is a group of people who have special training in the Standards.

An Audit Team will visit your service every year to check if your service is following the Standards.

When the Audit Team has checked everything, they write a report.

This report tells the Government if your service is doing a good job.

You can find out more about the Audit Team in another booklet: Quality Assurance and Your Service

What happens if my service does not follow the Standards?

The Government will give the service extra time and help to fix things.

If your service is still not following the Standards by December 2004, the Government will try hard to find another good quality service for you.

Is the Government checking up on me?

No. The Government is only checking on your service.

The 12 Disability Services Standards

Standard 1: Service Access

A fair go for everyone

All kinds of people with disabilities use this service.

Your service must treat you right no matter…

  • what age you are
  • whether you are a woman or a man
  • what country your family comes from
  • what colour you are
  • what your religion is
  • what extra support needs you have.

Your service must have fair rules.

These rules must be written down so that you can see them if you want to.

You can ask to see the rules any time you want.

If your service says they can not help you, they must have a good reason.

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Standard 2: Individual Needs

Getting help that is right for you

Anna is telling Kelly from the service what jobs she likes.


Your service should help you the way that is best for you and not just the way that is easiest for them.

Your service can help you…

  • to think about your work goals eg...
    • what kind of work you want or
    • how many days a week you can work.
  • to work out a plan to help you meet your goals
  • to follow your plan
  • to keep your plan up to date.

Standard 3: Decision Making and Choice

Having your say

Melissa chooses the jobs she likes.

Dan from the service makes a note.

Dan will look for jobs like that.

Your service has to give you choices.

Your service has to listen to you about ...

  • what kind of jobs you want
  • how your service can do things better.

Your service has to act on what you said.

Standard 4: Privacy, Dignity and Confidentiality

Respecting your privacy

Tim from the service is keeping Ric's files private.


Your service must always treat you with respect.

Your service must keep your information in a private place.

If your service wants to give your information to someone else…

  • they have to tell you who they want to give it to
  • they have to tell you why
  • they have to ask you if it is OK

If you say it is not OK to show your information to someone, then your service must not show them.

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Standard 5 Participation and Integration

Taking part in the community

Bill has a new job. He is going to be part of the team.


Your service should help you to...

  • be involved in the community
  • use services in the community
  • get a job in the community.

Standard 6: Valued Status

Being important in the community

Kim got an award for learning new skills for her job.

Her new skills are important to the whole team.

The Government believes that the community respects people more when they give something back to the community in…

  • paid work or
  • volunteer work.

Your service should help you to be important in the community by ….

  • helping you to find jobs
  • helping you to learn new skills to get jobs
  • helping you to keep your skills up to date
  • building your confidence in your skills and abilities

Standard 7: Complaints and Disputes

Getting something done about a complaint

Darren is making a complaint to the service.

His friend has come along to support him.

Justine and Dan from the service are listening.

Dan writes everything down so the service can fix things.

When you first join a service, they should tell you how to make a complaint if you have a problem.

If you make a complaint, your service should …

  • listen to you
  • be happy to help you
  • help you to explain what the problem is
  • try to fix your problem
  • tell you about other people or places you can talk to about your complaint.

Your service must keep your complaint private.

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Standard 8: Service Management

Running the service well

The service team is having a meeting.

They are talking about how to make the service better.

Your service should be well organised and managed.

Your service should …

  • be up to date with the best ways of working with you
  • use money from the Government in the best way
  • keep making the service better
  • have a business plan for running the service in the best way
  • show you the business plan if you want to see it.

Your service should listen to what you and other service users say.

They should act on what you say to make the service better.

Standard 9: Employment Conditions

Your right to fair wages and conditions

On payday, Ben gets a fair wage.

People with disabilities should have the same rights at work as everyone else.

You have a right to fair employment conditions, same as a person without a disability.

What are employment conditions?

Employment conditions are things like...

  • wages
  • holiday pay
  • sick leave
  • safety.

When you start a new job, your service must explain...

  • your employment conditions
  • how your wages are worked out.

You can have a support person or advocate with you when you talk to your service.

You can read more about fair wages in another booklet

Fact Sheet: Award Based Wages

Standard 10: Service Recipient Training and Support

Learning the right skills for your job

Mike is teaching Lee and Gina new skills for their gardening job.

Good training and support means you have the skills to get a job you like.

Your service must give you the training you need…

  • to find a job that you will like
  • to keep a job
  • to learn how to do new jobs
  • to keep your skills up to date.

Standard 11 Staff Recruitment, Employment and Training

Having staff who know the best ways to help you

Justine has a lot of information about the jobs Nick likes.

Your service should...

  • know what skills the staff need to help you
  • find the right staff to help you
  • make sure the staff keep their skills up to date.

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Standard 12: Protection of Human Rights and Freedom from Abuse

Being safe and respected

Dan from the service tells John's workmate to stop teasing him.

Your service must stand up for your rights...

  • at work
  • when you are training.

They must make sure that nobody can...

  • hurt you
  • talk to you in a way that you don't like
  • disrespect you because of your disability.

If you ask your service for help, they must do their best to help you.

Your Quick Guide to the 12 Standards

  1. Service access
    A fair go for everyone
  2. Individual needs
    Getting help that is right for you
  3. Decision making and choice
    Having your say
  4. Privacy, dignity, and confidentiality
    Respecting your privacy
  5. Participation and integration
    Taking part in the community
  6. Valued status
    Doing things the community thinks are important
  7. Complaints and disputes
    Getting something done about a complaint
  8. Service management
    Running the service well
  9. Employment conditions
    Your right to fair wages and conditions
  10. Service recipient training and support
    Learning the right skills for your job
  11. Staff recruitment employment and training
    Having staff who know the best ways to help you
  12. Protection of human rights and freedom from abuse
    Being safe and respected


If you do not speak English

Telephone Interpreter Service 131 450

If you have a complaint

CRRS (Complaint Resolution and Referrals Service)

1800 880 052 Free call

1800 301 130 TTY (free call)

1800 555 677NRS (National Relay Service)

02 9318 1372Fax

If someone at your service or job is hurting you.

Disability Services Abuse and Neglect Hotline8am - 8pm 7 days a week

1800 880 052 Free call

1800 301 130 TTY (free call)

1800 555 677NRS (National Relay Service)

02 9318 1372Fax


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