Taken from http://disabilityemployment.org.au/news/item/985/ 26.02.13 @ 9.20am
“New research reveals that Australians living with a disability are still feeling excluded from society, with the communities attitude the biggest problem faced by people with a disability.
Recent research conducted by disability service provider Scope in partnership with Deakin University clearly shows that Australians with a disability are still excluded from society.
94% of the respondents to the ‘Scope 1 in 4 Poll’ said they do not have enough meaningful participation in their community, together with 39% of respondents saying that if community attitudes towards disability changed, it would make a big difference to their lives.”
When will things improve?
Not anytime soon unless the attitude of leaders, and for disability employment services this means Government and the principle funding body, the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations, changes. Both need to take action that indicates to the community that they both value people with disability and are prepared to adopt socially inclusive policy.
The community reflects its leaders.
Subsidies are a great example. The use of subsidies are negatively linked to job acquisition and retention. However, these are heavily promoted by the funding body with programs that do not actively embrace ‘subsidy first’ as their basic marketing strategy questioned on their lack of enthusiasm.
Rather than whinge about how excluded people with disability are (the research clearly shows fact) here are some ideas for empowering people with disability through employment – this is also how you could get radically improved results from the failing disability employment program:
Here's the message subsidy sends: this product isn't worth as much, this isn't something (hire a person with disability) that you would do UNLESS you were paid.
Here's the message that SHOULD be sent: hiring a person with a disability is a sound business decision - we do it, it works for us and you should to.
As a means of creating social inclusion the present system and use of disability employment services simply isn't making enough of a difference.
What steps need to be taken to create a socially inclusive workplace?
1. Remove the barrier to people that have disability registering with more than 1 agency (this would mean stopping registration payments but such is life)
2. Stop all subsidies (they are a waste of money)
3. Remove the artificial barriers created by ESA limitations (NOVA can work with job seekers drawn from 1 side of the street but not the other)
4. Allow Disability Employment Services to open where they will with a guaranteed minimum number of sites ensuring service availability
5. Reward programs handsomely for reduction in welfare payment and pay maintenance fees for job retention.
6. Remove the vast majority of the meaningless auditing and associated red tape with job placement – linking with Centrelink to check reduction in benefits should be the yardstick of quality.
Try this for a year and see if the numbers of meaningful jobs found doesn’t skyrocket and that this is accompanied by a corresponding improvement in the level of inclusion felt by people with disability.
Let the market decide the quality of services. Let people who have a disability decide for themselves where and with whom they will work.
However, and returning to the start of my writing, this requires leadership from the top down, driven by people who do not devalue people with disability – individuals who truly believe in social inclusion and have the faith that the ability of people with disability can be relied upon, rather than throwing money at a product clearly seen (at least by them) as of less worth.
No more repeats of the totally disastrous redistribution of business currently taking place, I will bring you a story each week of this abhorrence and the ruin it’s making of so many young Australians lives as examples of just how badly policy, that neither understand the needs of people with disability, nor values the people concerned, can affect lives.
There are no meaningful consultations with job seekers - the only forum for their comment - the Senate Inquiry, was ignored!
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