Australia is a country that highly values diversity. It hopes to create a world where people with disabilities are treated without discrimination and can access basic well-being support like counselling and referrals. It also aims to provide people with disabilities, equal opportunities for employment and community work. At present, there are 2.1 million Australians with disabilities that have been deemed capable of working despite their limitations. However, only 47.8% of them are currently employed. As a result, the Australian government created the Disability Employment Services, or DES, to help their constituents be connected to employers. How did this department come to be, and what are the specific support that it offers? Read on to learn more about this government initiative:
Back in 2008, the Australian government affirmed its commitment to help its constituents with disabilities to participate as equal citizens in the country and maximize their potential. To show its commitment, it formed the National Disability Strategy and ratified the 2008 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in support of this advocacy. Establishing Disability Employment Services is a key strategy to help its constituents prepare, find, and maintain employment in the Australian soil. It is composed of two offices, namely, the Disability Management services and the Employment Support Service.
In 2018, it underwent a major reform to give persons with disabilities more choices and control concerning how they will use the department’s services. Additionally, the department has also introduced indexation of payments to providers and have given them more incentives to accept people with disability in their workplace. It also extended its eligibility clause to students with disabilities so they can start participating in the workforce as soon as they want to.
This department receives over $10 million in funding every year to give grants to accredited providers that do the legwork for connecting employers with job seekers. Currently, there are 93 accredited providers under the Disability Employment Services. They are all regularly evaluated based on their success in providing long-term employment for the seekers.
Roles of providers
Providers accredited by the Disability Employment Services are mandated to assist in job fitting, application, onboarding, and retention. Upon intake, job seekers should be given information by their providers about the Employment Support Plan, which outlines the support they will receive throughout the application process. These services include informing them about the available employment opportunities and guiding them through resume writing and interviews. Providers are also tasked to train co-workers and employers on how they can also adjust to the addition of persons with disabilities in the workplace. Their goal is to make the place more inclusive as possible.
After connecting persons with disabilities to a job that is fitted for them, providers under the DES program also hold regular feedback sessions with its clients and the employers that hired them. This assistance program typically lasts for six months and is done on a weekly or fortnightly session. Skill acquisition, workplace adjustments, and task evaluations are often the topics tackled during this evaluation session. With this initiative, persons with disabilities become more empowered in their workplace and attain a longer retention rate. Through the Australian government’s Disability Employment Services, people with disabilities can now enjoy the same employment privileges that regular citizens have. In time, they will be able to live where they can live out their full potential without worrying about discrimination.
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