Employment Support for People with Intellectual Disability that Works
We know people with intellectual disability,
1. want to work,
2. can work when they get the right support, and
3. are hired by employers when this meets the mutual needs of the business and the individual.
Yet only 8% of people with intellectual disability are employed in the open workforce.
There are two major barriers that have to be addressed.
— The low expectations of people with intellectual disability to work in the open workforce.
— The lack of skilled transition-to-work and open employment support for this group across Australia.
An increase in employment outcomes will be achieved if individuals and families can choose support based on best practice for people with intellectual disability.
— A new employment support system should build on what is achieving good employment outcomes for people with intellectual disability.
— A market-based approach should provide individuals, families, and employers with genuine choice informed by published provider outcomes by disability.
— Any changes should not unintentionally harm services performing well in the current employment support system.
The expected ‘dovetailing’ of Disability Employment Services (DES) and the NDIS provides an historic opportunity to achieve substantial savings while delivering improved employment outcomes.
Best practice transition-to-work and open employment support can provide significant savings as alternative programs for people with intellectual disability (i.e. day programs & supported employment) are more expensive.
Inclusion Australia proposes the following key elements of a new pathway of employment support.
1. A presumption that people with intellectual disability have the capacity to work in the open workforce when provided with skilled support.
2. A national system of;
— transition-to-work support for people with intellectual disability based on what works as part of the NDIS, that works seamlessly with,
— open employment support based on what works as part of DES for NDIS clients with intellectual disability.
These elements if based on best practice can provide employment support from school to work for more youth with intellectual disability to choose work and successfully participate in the open workforce.