Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King Jr.
It matters to me that we live in a world where everyone has the opportunity to live the fullest lives they wish.
A vital part of that life in our society is fulfilled in and through our work. It is at work that we make money, friends develop skills and have the opportunity to contribute to our society.
For people with disability full employment remains elusive - the system created by the Commonwealth Government seems designed to oppress and restrict people from enjoying full participation (there's an Orwellian world of doublespeak around this) with a large proportion of jobs being either minimum hour (8), casual or part time employment.
Please don't bother writing in to tell me about Fred whose 8hrs employment means more to him than life or Mary whose disability precludes more than 8hrs a week - good on them both and they aren't the majority.
People with disability want to participate to the maximum extent their health and circumstances allow - they need a system that supports their aspirations.
Here's the deal: service providers are essentially rewarded at one of two levels for the placement and retention of employment by people with disability.
That said, there is a competitive process called the Star Ratings (measure little of value - see previous posts) that do NOT reward or recognise greater than minimum outcomes. So, if a person is assessed at being able to work 8hrs a week (pretty much everyone on DSP) and you get that person a full time job there's no greater recognition than if you achieved an 8hrs outcome.
However, if you take that same full time job, break it down into 5 part time jobs and give more people the chance to participate then you get 5 times the money and 5 times the Star Ratings recognition.
See the danger here?
This is why so many decent, hardworking individuals skilled in finding meaningful work and their associated organisations dedicated to improving the lot of people with disability have left the industry or been closed.
This isn't the only nonsense to bedevil employment for people with disability.
If you are a person with a disability and you want to register with more than 1 employment service - unlucky!
You get 1 and only 1 - hope you make the right choice.
What is the numerical goal for disability employment services in 2015?
- there isn't one.
How many people did the disability employment program manage to get off payment last year?
- national secret.
People with disability deserve better.
Australian employment programs for people with disability have not always languished amongst the worlds least successful - we used to be good, effective and innovative; delivering service that were envied.
NOVA continues to do well in the Star Ratings AND deliver more than minimum hour outcomes and we could do so much more if only the silly handicaps and disincentives were challenged (they do nothing good) and then removed.
I haven't said anything on this for a while but I am damned if I will keep quiet.
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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)
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....