Each day I receive offers to attend, to send folk or to speak at conferences supposedly to do with disability employment.
Frankly most are a crock.
What are the program creators peddling?
Compliance Management, Quality Assurance, Managing challenging youth and so it goes on….
Nothing, absolutely nothing about the real challenges that face disability employment programs: ensuring program practice is client focused, improving service delivery for people with specific disability, underpinning quality philosophy and so on..
Instead, how to work the system, how to please the bureaucracy, how to make sure your clients are ‘compliant’.
What a load of nonsense!
There’s only 1 thing that counts; supporting people who have a disability, regardless of the level of help they may require, to the best employment outcome for them. You can measure that (best) through the degree of financial independence achieved, the hours worked, the duration of employment post subsidy and so on.
Compliance mentality leads to this sort of nonsense: DEEWR, our funding body sets 6 months as a KPI for employment duration (I actually have no in principle objection to the time frame). However, this is not supported by an ‘hours worked’ clause and 8hr a week positions carry the same credit as 40hr positions.
Jobs are split and while very few achieve independence more people ‘participate’. Government and organisational subsidies heavily discount the value of workers with disability, sometimes by as much as 100% for the 26 week period.
A large number of positions are lost at or shortly after 26 weeks.
Service providers that engage in these practices are rewarded and held up as examples of what can be achieved .
After on-going complaints about such action (just read back through this blog and the work of others) DEEWR put a 28 week check into their ‘quality’ assurance regime.
‘Service’ providers respond by moving 26wks subsidy to 30wks and organise contracts of employment to protect employers against unfair dismissal claims.
We have a new government. We need to return to ‘employment first’ as our battle cry. Sheltered Workshops and Social Firms are NOT an answer for people with significant disability while the most able are creamed off to compliance focussed programs.
We need a new regime (it’ll save squillions in the long term):
Work ‘counts’ when subsidy ends
9hrs work beats 8 and 40 just scoops the pool
Reward service providers for reducing the burden of welfare by allowing Centrelink to be the gatekeeper for measuring outcomes
Drop the management of irrelevant minutiae
Actions based on principle and designed to showcase the ability of people with disability will always flog a compliance focussed mentality (most service providers aren’t thieves)
Believe in the value of the produce – this isn’t a business, it’s a passion.
Reward real change not ‘participation’.
Let's see conferences that train the skills required to support the people with the greatest need, not the programs with the greatest greed.
Now’s the time.
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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)
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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....
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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....
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NOVA needs you - come and join us
NOVA needs You!!
Wednesday 2nd November
Short notice (so really appreciate sharing) and we are holding an information session for potential new workers in a variety of roles within NOVA....