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.

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Showing 868 reactions

  • Sharon Poke
    signed 2015-09-21 14:13:47 +1000
  • Sharon Gillian
    signed 2015-09-21 14:11:20 +1000
  • Crystal Goss
    signed 2015-09-21 14:06:14 +1000
  • Damo Nickle
    signed 2015-09-21 14:04:51 +1000
  • Guy Prowse
    signed 2015-09-21 14:03:35 +1000
  • Peter Moore
    signed 2015-09-21 14:01:35 +1000
  • Sharon Condon
    signed 2015-09-21 13:59:24 +1000
  • Jodi Jones
    signed 2015-09-21 13:57:24 +1000
  • Paul Goss
    signed 2015-09-21 13:11:46 +1000
  • James Crawford
    signed 2015-09-21 12:10:17 +1000
  • Sherry Edwards
    signed 2015-09-21 12:08:05 +1000
  • Jan Reynolds
    signed 2015-09-21 12:05:57 +1000
  • Sally Reynolds
    signed 2015-09-21 12:04:24 +1000
  • Tamika Higgs
    signed 2015-09-21 12:03:12 +1000
  • Sarah Farley
    signed 2015-09-21 12:00:53 +1000
  • Aaron Pitcher
    signed 2015-09-21 11:55:50 +1000
  • Alison Booth
    signed 2015-09-21 11:46:06 +1000
  • Jennifer Rowallan
    signed 2015-09-21 11:45:32 +1000
  • Jenny Sully
    signed 2015-09-21 11:44:35 +1000
  • Victoria Lanymead
    signed 2015-09-21 11:43:52 +1000
  • Marty Leeson
    signed 2015-09-21 11:42:49 +1000
  • Baden Phillips
    signed 2015-09-21 11:40:45 +1000
  • Stephen Taylor
    signed 2015-09-21 11:39:50 +1000
  • Heath Mollineaux
    signed 2015-09-21 11:37:34 +1000
  • Katherine Mappas
    signed 2015-09-19 17:51:14 +1000
  • Dianne Chng
    signed 2015-09-16 15:23:20 +1000
  • Sue Harding
    signed 2015-09-14 21:17:11 +1000
    jobsupport supports my daughter who has an intellectual disability in open employment. It has opened the world to her.
  • Trevor Parmenter
    signed 2015-09-12 23:08:13 +1000
    I initiated the first transition to open employment work experience program in Australia when principal at Hassall Street Special School,Parramatta, in 1971. Through research at Macquarie University in years 1974-84 my Team demonstrated that with training , people with intellectual disabilities could enter the open workforce and sustain real jobs, not just for a few months. Training and on going support in the early stages pays off, not dissimilar to all young people who enter the work force. Why can’t this opportunity be given to the 20,000 people currently in sheltered workshops, where most have a mild intellectual disability? JobSupport is an agency that has demonstrated that 600 people with moderate levels of intellectual disability can work in open employment.

    We are suposedly in an era where evidence drives policy. Why has this evidence and the evidence from the ILO been ignored?

    Trevor R Parmenter, AM, Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney
  • Garry Oates
    signed 2015-09-11 16:26:01 +1000
  • Bernie McGinn
    signed via 2015-09-11 11:53:21 +1000
    Meaningful employment and a place to belong mean so much to everyone. Why would it be any people for those with disabilities.