Mismanagement at the highest level seems destined to continue despite a change in name for the people that hand out money to disability employment programs. The present status is that these may be designed to help people with a disability find work or may be constructed to extract profit from the Australian public.
‘Performance’ management is delivered through a process titled ‘Star Ratings’ an Orwellian fiction that recently (March 2013) drove dozens of excellent programs out of the industry, saw hundreds of highly talented staff drift away and abandoned thousands of workers with disability to their fate.
The nonsense that is the ‘Star Ratings’ (I need to point out that 16 out of 17 NOVA sites significantly improved in the recently released figures) continues to oppress innovation, reward gaming and further threaten the prospects of people with disability, seemingly without protest.
Stars are awarded on a scale of 1-5 with ‘5’ Stars being (supposedly) a recognition of excellence and ‘1’ a ticket to oblivion.
It is a wretched system that MUST always produce results to a pre-determined formula – programs can’t all be 5 Stars, approximately 30% must be 1-2 and 30% must be 4-5 with the rest puddling along in the middle – doesn’t matter what everyone does, how hard they work or what results they achieve, while individual sites may improve (as we have) the distribution rates remain the same.
What does that mean?
Let’s look at recent comment from the body that is supposed to represent disability employment services:
“Of the 87 DES-ESS contracts rated one or two stars, 74 (85.06%) were generalist and 13 (14.94%) were specialist. The majority of one and two star specialist DES-ESS contracts belong to Vision Australia (2, 15.38%, Blind and Vision Impaired) and Ostara Australia (2, 15.38%, Mental Health), see Figure 9. The majority of one and two star generalist DES-ESS contracts belong to WISE Employment (9, 12.16%), Job Futures (5, 6.76%), Sureway Employment and Training (4, 5.41%) and Community Bridging Services (4, 5.41%)”
“As signalled in the DES-ESS request for tender, the five year contracting period is subject to at least two business reallocations. Performance at a one or two star level may be in scope for reallocation. As we have recently seen in the DES-DMS reallocation, contracts performing at the one star level are extremely likely to exit.”
So at some point toward the end of this year, a reallocation will occur that will see those organisations listed above booted out or their share of the market place so ‘adjusted’ as to make them unviable – and if not these then a similar number of others.
It is difficult to put into words the total stupidity of these actions, the baseless framework from which these have been constructed, or the magnitude of the disaster they have and will continue to create.
There is nothing wrong with the program listed above. I can personally vouch for the quality of some and am sure of the ability of the rest.
What’s more important though is this simple fact; the people they serve both created them and chose them to support their vocational goals – these are Australian operated community programs.
Has the community said ‘go’?
Do people with disability wish them to go?
Are each effective in supporting the people (this next bit is important!) THAT HAVE CHOSEN TO GO TO THESE?
But that’s not enough. It is not enough that people who have a disability don’t want them to go, chose to attend them and are happy with the provision of service they receive – there’s a ‘quality improvement process’ that can steamroll the wishes of the most disadvantaged to serve the convenience of policy makers.
There’s only 1 way to measure quality and that’s not being applied today – it’s through the marketplace. Reward reduction in welfare, independence in employment, wages earned, longevity of employment and post subsidy job retention.
Use these as markers of ‘Stardom’ and lets see where those program listed above sit – lets see who thrives then
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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....
Yet again! Somewhere there is a definition of lunacy that runs along the lines of 'lunacy is when you do something the same way and expect a different result'
Today some of Australia's disability employment services will learn whether they will be allowed to continue to deliver their programs or whether they are to be replaced....