Submission No 138

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Willing to Work: National Inquiry into Employment Discrimination against Older Australians and Australians with Disability

Submission No 138

Name Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE) Inc.
Submission made by
☒ Membership based organisation

Disability Employment in Australia: The Way Up

February, 2013

February 2013
This paper stems from a vision to increase employment opportunities in Australia for people with disabilities and from diverse backgrounds; it has been researched and developed by Australians for Disability and Diversity Employment (ADDE), an organisation which specialises in systemic advocacy on employment issues for people with disability.
The primary contributors to this report are:

Peter Rickards, founding President of ADDE, and the 2012 winner of the Emerging Leader Award, presented by Mary Wooldridge MLA, the Minister for Community Services.

Kathy Leitch

Geoff Crawford

Julie Farthing

For more information about ADDE, please go to our website:

The paper is endorsed by the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), an organisation that works in partnership with ADDE on employment issues for people with disability. AFDO is the primary national voice to Government that fully represents the interests of all people with disability across Australia.
We acknowledge the work of others in this field that provide some of the context for this paper; notably, the Thought Leadership Group at PwC who prepared the paper Disability expectations: investing in a better life, a stronger Australia, November 2011
We also acknowledge the existence of a range of Federal Government programs, including:

  • The National Disability Coordination Officer1: There are currently 31 NDCOs in regions across Australia, working on projects to improve the transition into training, education and employment of people with a disability aged15 to 64. The NDCOs also provide an important link with stakeholders in their regions.

  • Disability Employment Services2: introduced in 2010, the DES has resulted from the streamlining of a range of programs into two main forms of assisted entry into the labour market for eligible job seekers with disability.

  • The National Disability Recruitment Coordinator3 has been in place since 2010, to facilitate the movement of people with disabilities through the Disability Employment Service and in through developing working partnerships with high profile employers.

  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)4, commencing in 2013, provides for the establishment of a Medicare-style nationwide network of offices to allow those who qualify to apply for financial support and to access services should improve the quality of life for Australians with disabilities, while easing the pressures on their support networks. Alleviating a range of barriers, this scheme should, if effectively resourced, also allow many people with disabilities and their carers to more fully participate in the labour market.

Our research also indicates that these measures alone are insufficient and our recommendations provide tangible strategies to enhance the environment to facilitate a more appropriate level of employment for Australians with disabilities.

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