The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) today called on Federal Minister Dan Tehan to ensure that the current Inquiry into the Future of Supported Employment increases engagement with people with disability and their representative organisations to increase full inclusion and real employment outcomes for people with disability.
‘We are extremely concerned that the process has largely focused on the viability of Australian Disability Enterprises, rather than how support can increase full inclusion and employment participation in mainstream settings, which should be our ultimate aim. The voice of people with disability, of which there are thousands working in open employment with support, has not been captured at all,” said Mr. Joyce, CEO of AFDO.
‘The voice of people with disability needs to be front and centre to reform a model that is ineffective to support people with disability transition to mainstream settings. With less than 1% of people with disability working in Australian Disability Enterprises transitioning to open employment, this situation needs immediate action’.
‘We need to be collectively aspiring for better outcomes for people with disability, in the form of fair wages, community inclusion in mainstream settings, less welfare dependency and increased workforce participation rates. There exists over 30 years of international evidence, such as practices in Vermont in the US, of what works in employment and how this can be leveraged to enable people with disability live an ordinary life as a valued contributor and tax payer”.
Mr. Joyce outlined, ‘We have written a letter to Minister Tehan to seek a meeting to discuss these issues and the recently released Department of Social Services Summary Report and look forward to constructive dialogue and the opportunity to work more closely together on this key issue for people with disability.’
AFDO calls on Minister Tehan to engage with AFDO and its member organisations to ensure that people with disability are at the heart of reform to improve the future of supported employment.
For more information please contact Mr Ross Joyce on 0402 842 040.