According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 31% of working age people with intellectual disability were employed in 2012; compared to 47.7% for all people with disability, and 78.5% for people without disability.
What is the labour force participation of people with intellectual disability accessing services under the National Disability Agreement?
In 2015-16, 6,989 or 11.3% of all people with intellectual disability aged 15 and over (69,136), and received disability support services under the National Disability Agreement, had a job in the open workforce.
According to the Department of Social Services, in 2013 there were 101,631 people with intellectual and learning disabilities receiving the Disability Support Pension.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 11,704 people with intellectual disability accessed the Disability Employment Services (open employment) program in 2013-14.
According to the Evaluation of the Disability Employment Services (DES) 2010-2013 by the Department of Social Services, 51.5% of people with intellectual disability commencing with an Employment Support Services (ESS) provider were placed in a job; and 29% had a job that lasted for at least 26-weeks.
According to the Evaluation of Disability Employment Services 2010-2013, all providers other than Jobsupport, achieved a 26-week employment outcome rate of 29.2%, and 11.1% for 26-week employment outcomes for jobs of 15 hours or more per week.
In contrast, Jobsupport, a specialist provider for people with significant intellectual disability, achieved a 26-week employment outcome rate of 85.4%, and 68.8% for 26 week employment outcomes for jobs of 15 hours or more per week.
According to the National VET Provider Collection;
- 17.1% of students with intellectual disability commencing in VET achieved a qualification.
- It is estimated that 8.1% of students with intellectual disability who commence in VET achieve graduation and employment.
Employment support providers that achieve high rates of job placement and job retention achieve a lower cost per 26-week employment outcome. For example, Jobsupport, a high performing specialist intellectual disability provider costs about $8,000 less per 26 week employment outcomes for people with significant intellectual disability compared to the average cost of other providers.
According to the Centre For International Economics, high performing open employment providers also provide the Commonwealth substantial savings as alternative programs for people with intellectual disability (i.e. day programs and Australian Disability Enterprises) are more expensive.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2013-14 there were 24,557 people with intellectual disability accessing non-work day programs known as "community access".
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2013-14 there were 14,778 people with a primary intellectual disability accessing Australian Disability Enterprises (formerly known as sheltered workshops).
Jobsupport is a highly successful specialist open employment provider which began as a demonstration project in 1986 for people with moderate intellectual disability. Jobsupport operates throughout Sydney and in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Jobsupport’s approach to training people with intellectual disability is based on an applied behaviour analysis model developed in the United States. The early demonstration set out to show that with the right type of supports people with higher levels of intellectual disability could succeed in the open labour market.
The fact sheet below provides an short overview of the model of employment support provided by Jobsupport.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities obligates nations to recognise the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others. It states that the right of persons with disabilities to work includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible.
Job customisation is important because people with more significant intellectual disability are rarely able to fill advertised vacancies. It is a process which requires a much deeper level of interaction between disability employment support and employers. This is employer engagement at a local, often personal, level. Please read the fact sheet for a detailed explanation of "Customised Employment".
Intellectual disability is a disability characterised by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18.