“Prior to implementing these proposals, the Department undertook extensive industry consultation...”
Excellent; and a collaborative approach is generally best.
However, something that seems to have disappeared over the past decade or so is the genuine involvement of service recipients – the folk that are on the pointy end of programs like NOVA.
Each week I would speak with many job seekers and the general impression I get from those discussions is people with disability want a job they enjoy, work that challenges them, a role allows for career development. These things are generally described as being full time, certainly at award wage and in conditions identical to those of people who do not have a disability.
Surely it is people with disability that should decide the type nature and aims of the programs that are designed to support them?
In times past, performance indicators (shaped by people with disability) included stuff like; not counting employment as having started until any subsidy had finished, a minimum of 15 hours employment per week and incentives and rewards for full time employment.
Service users could choose their provider, register with multiple providers, be in a sheltered workshop and registered with an open employment service, be at school (but wishing to leave if a full time job became available and so on.
Key Performance Indicators decided by people with a disability and in their interests.
The clock rolls on.
Can you be in ‘employment’ and have your wage entirely paid for by a service provider?
Yes, I’m reliably told employers are presently being offered a contract that subsidies wages for a period of 30 weeks (this time period meets the funding bodies KPI – 26 weeks – and escapes the ‘contrived employment’ check).
Are short hour positions common?
Are they what! Casual and limited (all you have to achieve for many job seekers is 8 hours employment to get similar rewards as full time work) hour employment abound.
Can service users choose?
Maybe, if they dance around, rant and rave and generally make themselves difficult – the majority are led wherever they may be taken.
People in receipt of the Disability Support Pension are generally disenfranchised, voiceless and ill informed of their options. That’s not their fault and they shouldn’t be disempowered. There is a general lack of understanding of the fragility of their position and the availability of advice is limited.
This needs to change and KPI’s for disability employment services aligned with consumer wishes not meaningless numerical targets – ‘participation’ may be high but if that’s so good how come only a few thousand people actually escape the poverty of welfare each year? How come Australia languishes so low in comparison to other economies when it comes to participation and income?
It wasn’t always this way.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We can again be the best.
We need meaningful measurements of ‘Stardom’ based on job retention, wages earned and hours of participation.
Frankly; stuff ‘industry consultation’ – why ask those with vested interest?
Time to talk to consumers.
Change can only come from the ground up – it’s time for consumers to regain their central role in the identification of best practice and the design and conduct of services supposedly acting to their benefit.
More to come!
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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.