Today marks the start of my 26th year as NOVAs chief executive.
I dont want to get into the good old days or rave on about how much things have changed but a quick review of the differences between 01.09.90 and today show some startling changes.
In 1990 people with significant disability received the Invalid Pension and were not eligible to seek assistance from the Commonwealth Employment Service. The Disability Services Act (1986) was starting to impact upon employment prospects through a combination of 2 kinds of services; an Individual Supported Jobs (ISJ) model and Competitive Employment, Training & Placement (CETP) programs with NOVA initially operating one of the latter.
Subsequently we opened an ISJ in Richmond, a program for the Deaf in Campbelltown, numerous sites across Sydney, the mid north coast, Queensland (first psychiatric specialist employment program In Qld) and the Far West of NSW.
Australian Disability Employment programs were world leaders and folk came from around the world to learn and recreate the success enjoyed in creating the enormous adjustment in thinking that has occurred on the part of employers around the country.
The first 15 years saw a rapid expansion and improvement in quantity and quality of options available.
The last 10 years have also been exciting, although not always for the same reasons. Opening up the capped programs to offer the possibility of employment to every person, regardless of location and disability has been tremendous (almost unbelievable in the context of history). The introduction of competition into service delivery that was initially galvanising has led to deterioration in the quality of opportunity to people with disability.
Where are we today?
Well, Im 25 years older, fatter and balder and the outlook for employment for people with disability has never been better: this month NOVA delivered more employment outcomes that we achieved in the first 2 and 1/2 years of operation!
The range of work found is just as broad as it has ever been and the hours worked/wages earned remains very high.
The biggest change has come in the attitude of employers toward the hire of workers with disability: thanks to the cumulative evidence of their achievements and the campaigning of my staff, employers across Sydney have learned the wisdom of focussing on ability.
Not sure I will make another 25, but I promise to give it a go!
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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....
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Quality and the Stars Quality and the Stars
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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.
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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....
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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
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NOVA needs you - come and join us
NOVA needs You!!
Wednesday 2nd November
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What an exciting time to be working in Disability Employment Services!
Demand exceeds supply (we are advertising for job seekers) and more and more smart business owners are seeing the value of people with disability as a routine part of their hiring decisions and processes....