It is really important to start this post with a word of caution, the CEOs page represents my feelings and my thoughts, and not necessarily those of this organisation.
This is where I have the opportunity to rant!
Are you ready?
Australians share some things in common, we share values, we share attitudes, and we are fortunate indeed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. We have the privilege of paying taxes, and our taxes pay for certain rights and services.One of the best services available to all Australians is the school system.
It is a legal requirement that everybody attend school at least until the age of 16.Schoolteachers are well-educated and dedicated.As part of their job, teachers identify persons who have developmental disability.During their time at school, such persons, apart from special education, are also subjected to a range of tests to measure the extent and effect of disability on their lives.
It might come as a surprise to you to know that when such persons leave school, they frequently leave all record behind.
The first class teachers mentioned above have years of experience with each of these individuals and often care about them passionately.It is not just that they want to see their work have a result; they genuinely want the best for the pupils they've been teaching.
Rather than use this information and insight, taxpayers spend $220 funding a job capacity assessment
One of the blights on the disability industry today is the job capacity assessment or JCA.Many of the person's accessing Nova employment are forced to undertake a JCA.Assessors come from a range of backgrounds.However and bizarrely, they do not have to have any experience in the disability employment industry!So you might find your job capacity assessor is a registered nurse.
This is not meant as a criticism of registered nurses.However, such a person is unlikely in the time allowed for a JCA assessment (and this is about an hour) to be able to draw any real or meaningful conclusion.Despite any assurance, you might hear there is not a tool on earth that enables any person to accurately forecast the post-placement support needs of a person with a disability.
Many might already have worked out where this is heading - however, this would require some cooperation between the state system and the federal system.So what are the chances of that?
Here's how things could work: since developmental disability does not go away, how about giving somebody who has such disability a 'passport'? This passport would then enable a person who has a disability to access services without the need for additional assessment, which can often be both embarrassing and, without sufficient resources, inaccurate.
The present system means that persons undertaking the JCA also run the risk of losing their pension benefits.That translates to a reduction in pension of about $60 every week.I guess we have to ask ourselves would we risk our income when it may have been years since we had a job, or may be entering the workforce for the first time?
It should not come as a surprise to find that many people choose, rather than gambling on a job that may or may not work out, to remain on the pension.
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Making a tough job tougher!
Making a tough job tougher
It isnt easy to get a decent job and its harder to do so if you have a disability.
NOVA employs around 190 people, an effective and experienced team who are able to draw upon a staff of highly skilled trainers and a support program honed over almost 30 years and tens of thousands of participants....
Your Work There was never any doubt in my mind that I would work. My dad told me I would work and there wasn't ever a suggestion that my future held an alternative option....
Not so bad! Taken from: Today's Guardian at 4.09pm Tuesday 7th November 2017:
In a world full of discouragement there’s always a space for good news....
The NDIS mantra is 'choice and control'
To be valuable, choice needs to be informed.
Average Sydney Disability Employment Services placement rates are 34....
It's voting time at "Focusonability" - with a record number of films entered, a tremendous effort by more than 100 High Schools and 19 countries competing in the International section it was always going to be a hard job to pick a winner....
Choice & Control
The NDIS slogans around choice and control demonstrate the importance of consumer involvement in both the choice and control of supports they need.
However, in order to be valuable, choice needs to be informed by accurate data such is this: http://www....
Last week (14-16) it was my privilege to attend the 1st World Supported Employment Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
"Employment for All - A Global Perspective" brought workers from around the globe (primarily Europe) to discuss best practice in supported employment....
Quality and the Stars Quality and the Stars
There have probably been few people more openly critical of the Disability Employment Service (DES) Star Ratings than me.
The Stars, ranging from 1 to 5 are supposed to give some insight into whether a service is a poor or high performing program....
Attended the Disability Employment Australia (DEA) forum in Canberra. THis is a regular get together that offers disability employment services tha chance to be kept up to date from our funding body and also listed to expert speakers on topics associated with the goal of seeing as many people as possible find and keep suitable employment....
NOVAs greatest asset is its staff. I suspect you would struggle to find the CEO of any organisation state their staff are not vital and at the core of business reputation and results....
A corner turned?
We are presently holding events to promote employment for people with disability - nor surprise there, that's our job.
What has been a surprise is the willingness of employers to come along and listen and more importantly, to consider adopting inclusive employment practices across their organisations....
Say No to Quotas!
The pernicious idea that 'quota's' might be the solution for disability employment continue:
Faced with the daunting task of improving the number of employment outcomes with out sacrificing the quality of service delivered to people with disability how have we fared (sort of Year in Review II)?
The number of placements made has seriously improved - up 31% in 2015 and a further 14% in 2016, NOVA operates at at rate of placement better than 150% over 2014!
Whats really exciting is that this has been achieved without compromising on the level of disability that can be supported by NOVA's teams (if anything this has risen)....
Famous last words!
O.K. - sorry that you need to cut and paste: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/100-million-payday-for-1anhour-staff-with-disabilities-20161216-gtcius....
Not sure if this will be my last blog post for 2016 but just in case, a quick look back at 2016:
Best ever year for total number of placements
Best ever year for long term employment outcomes
Best ever year for Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Best ever year for Transition to Work outcomes
Best ever year for media coverage
Best ever year for 'Focusonability'
Best ever year for Transition to Work (TTW)
How about 2017?
Looking good, so stay in touch and have a terrific holiday, be safe and hopefully Santa will bring you all that you wish for....
Choice is only of value when it's informed (written about this here previously)
I have the numbers for disability employment services (DES-ESS) up till 30th June this year and I am delighted to see that NOVA is responsible for almost 25% of all employment lasting 6 months or more (28 providers) and almost as many as next 2 providers combined....
The NDIS held out hope and promise to people with a disability, the opportunity to exercise choice and control and was heralded as the answer to the prayers of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens....
Latest 'Stars' The effectiveness of Australian Disability Employment Services is recognised through a system called the 'Star Ratings'.
6 years ago NOVA was amongst the lower performing providers in Sydney, at least as measured through the Star's,
Regular readers will be aware of my unhappiness with things that I think are important to people with disability - stuff like, wages earned, hours worked etc....
Best Show on TV Morning All
Sorry you need to cut and paste: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/802326595536/focus-on-ability-film-festival-2016
Best show on TV - bar none and, if you want to skip my bit I get off at 3:10 and you can get straight to some of the truly terrific films from this year's "Focusonability" short film festival....
Reform There is a review of Disability Employment Services and presently consideration is being given to what might best replace the current program.