O.K., maybe not the greatest book of all time, but a modern inspiration that celebrates a triumph of the human spirit while demonstrating the intellect, dedication and capacity of a first class team*.
Not so many years ago the majority of young men and women leaving special education (the kids with disabilities!) were condemned to a working life in a sheltered workshop, earning a pittance or possibly even paying for the privilege they wasted their talents and lives excluded from mainstream activity.
Times change and I have been given the program and book for the class of 2015 Transition to Work graduates â€“ to be celebrated on December the 3rd (international Day of People with Disability).
But let me take a step back.
About 2 weeks ago a researcher rang me to ask me about NOVAs TTW and amongst his questions was one to the effect of, what percentage of outcomes do you aim for? And then thought I was joking when I said, 100%.
The truth is that less than 100% is absolutely and totally unacceptable. To even consider less shows a lack of faith in the ability of the participants, or maybe in the skills and ability of program staff ,or possibly a poorly designed program.
I cant imagine aiming lower than everyone in work and in good conscience could not allow parents to be left with an impression we were working for their son or daughter but were only 99% confident, or 80% confident, or some other number. Imagine an airline that thought it was pretty good to fly safely 99.9% of the time; would you fly with them? Or a surgeon who generally had success!
You want the best, so do people with disability and, given the often poor treatment they have received getting to adulthood, service providers have an obligation to deliver the best.
So back to my inspirational read:
You can see some of the terrific outcomes the team have achieved here: https://www.facebook.com/novatransition
What you see is the trainees ability to meet and exceed employer expectations. These young men and women arent objects of pity or burden of charity; they are highly valued and respected members of their teams, appreciated by their customers and each earns their wages, wages that are the same as their non-disabled peers.
Quite frankly I am inspired by these folk and in awe of what the team has created, an effective production line that matches, ability and aspiration with opportunities to shine.
Best thing I have ever been part of!
* Im the Chief Executive and so get to bask in reflected glory; but thats all it is. The success of this program is down to Anne Goyer, its creator whose unique ability to weave together the component parts ensures the amazing outcomes being achieved and to her dedicated management team; Meg Elliott, Terry McAuliffe & Leisha Distefano: - these 4 deserve the recognition and credit for the creation and maintenance of something I consider to be unique and unmatched in disability employment programs. Supported by the entire TTW team, participants are pretty much guaranteed the opportunity to shine in careers of their choice.
Want to know more? - www.transition.com.au
Would you like a face-to-face meeting with Martin via Skype? Click the button below to make an appointment
Subscribe to this Blog - blog.novaemployment.com.au Copy the link above and paste it into your favourite Reader to subscribe to an RSS feed of this blog. To watch a short video explanation of RSS and how it helps you save time reading the web click here
Your Comments There are currently no comments on this article
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.
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....