Australia has one of the lowest rates of employment for people with a disability in the developed world, we are currently ranked 21st out of 29 countries in employment rates for people with disability.
This is simply not good enough, people with a disability deserve the same opportunities as everyone else.
The National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS) was designed and delivered by Labor to provide individual support for people with a disability so they have access to employment opportunities.
However the NDIS is only one solution, we need to do more.
We need to encourage businesses and community organisations to employ people living with disability.
To achieve this we need to reform Disability Employment Services, so there is more choice and control.
We also need to ensure more people with disability can gain employment in the public services.
Federal Labor will support businesses and not-for-profit organisations to develop their own Disability Employment Action Plans which will allow them to identify existing barriers to employment, improve recruitment policies and procedures and outline specific strategies and targets to boost employment and training opportunities for people with disability within their organisations.
Labor will: introduce an Employment Assistance Fund, which helps fund workplace modifications if required, provide $1 millon dollars to an independent, national not-for-profit disability organisation so they can promote, advise and co-ordinate the development and delivery of disability employment action plans; task the Public Service Commission with developing a series of employment targets for people with disability, in partnership with different departments and agencies and in consultation with disability advocates.
It is important we continue to look at new ways of doing things to ensure that participants have more choice and control over the services they receive and joining up the NDIS with the Disability Employment Services seems like a very good idea to me.
Labor will invest $5 million to trial new approaches to better integrate the two agencies so that individuals are supported.
By: Lydia Senior