As you may know, I don’t have a life. This is the reason I have time to read documents like A Stronger, Fairer Australia. Part of the Federal Government’s welcome push to keep Social Inclusion as a topic for discussion (although we’ll see how the budget treats our most disadvantaged citizens and judge by actions.
Here’s some highlights lifted without any permission from the text:
“The drivers of social exclusion are more likely to be found in some neighbourhoods or regions, leading to concentrated locational disadvantage. Recent research by Professor Tony Vinson found that the most disadvantaged three percent of localities across the country had at least twice the average share of unemployment, long-term unemployment, disability support and psychiatric admissions, criminal convictions, imprisonment and child maltreatment”.
Quite right, the poorest people are the most likely to suffer additional disadvantage and people with disability figure highly in every one of these reports and they have done so for more than the 20 odd years I have been involved – so what are we going to do about it?
Some tragic examples of a real failure to get to grips with the problem in a meaningful way:
“The rate of employment of people with disability and severe mental illness is still well below that of people without disability and mental illness, and, in recent years, their relative employment prospects have declined – from 1993 to 2003, the employment rate of people without disability increased by 13 per cent (from 67.6 per cent to 76.5 per cent), while the employment rate of people with disability (including psychological disability) increased only by 8 per cent (from 45.1 per cent to only 48.7 per cent)” and:
“Employment has significant benefits in terms of economic and social participation. For many people with disability or mental illness, it can improve opportunities for social inclusion. Yet the rate of employment of people with disability and mental illness is still well below that of people without disability and, in recent years, their relative employment prospects have declined:
in 2003, the labour force participation rate of people with disability aged 15 to 64 years was 53 per cent and the unemployment rate was 8.6 per cent, compared to 81 per cent and 5.0 per cent, respectively, for those without disability;91 and from 1993 to 2003, the employment rate of people without disability increased by 13 per cent (from 67.6 per cent to 76.5 per cent), while the employment rate of people with disability increased only by 8 per cent (from 45.1 per cent to only 48.7 per cent).
The number of Disability Support Pension recipients has risen by 31 per cent over the last 10 years to more than 750,000 people. The growth for men has been 13 per cent, consistent with the growth in the working population. The growth for women was much greater, 64 per cent, which can be mostly attributed to the closure of other payments. The average duration on income support for Disability Support Pension recipients is twelve years and fewer than 10 per cent of Disability Support Pension recipients report earnings from work. Of the 100,000 or so disability pensioners who reported earnings over the two years to the end of 2008, only 36,000 were employed for the whole two years.
Although many people with mental illness (psychological disability) do gain employment, they experience even higher rates of unemployment and lower rates of labour force participation than those with physical disability: in 2003, the labour force participation rate of people with mental illness aged 15 to 64 years was 28.2 per cent and the unemployment rate was 19.5 per cent, compared to 48.3 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively for those with physical disability; 94 and psychological and psychiatric illness is the second largest category of disability for DSP recipients accounting for 28 per cent, which is approximately 214,000 people.
Many people with disability and mental illness want to work, but are not offered the opportunity. They may face barriers such as poorly coordinated support services or inadequate education and training opportunities. They may fear the loss of eligibility for crucial benefits. Some employers can also be unwilling to take on people with disability, reflecting outmoded community attitudes and beliefs about productivity and risk”.
In other words, government can see the problem, the problem is not seemingly responding to present activity and the number of people with disability worse off than their non-disabled peers either remains static or has worsened.
There are some interesting statistics on areas within NSW that require special care:
Priority Employment Regions:
New South Wales: Canterbury-Bankstown and South Western Sydney, Illawarra, Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley, Mid-North Coast, Sydney West and Blue Mountains, Central Coast-Hunter;
Remote Priority Areas:
New South Wales: Walgett and Wilcannia;
8 of the 11 areas listed as a priority have one thing in common – A NOVA outlet. I guess you could therefore form the opinion that a lack of progress is down to being saddled with us! However, you also might want to listen when we say that the employment prospects of people who have a disability and who genuinely want to work can be addressed through simple reform – either read back through this blog or contact us directly for more information on how employment opportunities for people with disability can be improved and cost to taxpayers lowered through simple cost effective initiatives to remove the artificial barriers created by the present processes.
Employment & Social inclusion are intimately linked - it makes sense to ensure that thfinding and keeping a job remains a top priority whatever the budget may bring.
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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.