Employment – a door to inclusion

Endeavour Foundation CEO Andrew Donne has welcomed announcements by both the Commonwealth Government and the Federal Opposition, that will create a more vibrant and strong employment sector for people with intellectual disability.

Last week the Government announced that the NDIA will remove an artificial barrier which made it slower and more difficult for people to take up a job offer in supported employment.

“We believe that when people with a disability are offered a job they should be able to start as soon as possible, like any other person, without bureaucratic hurdles that deliver no benefit. We are pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns and addressed this unintended consequence of the NDIS,” Mr Donne said.

The Federal Opposition has also recently announced a policy that would strengthen supported employment by ensuring government procurement will give Australian Disability Enterprises access to commonwealth contracts for work that they are capable and qualified to do.

“This would be a practical way to support job opportunities for people with a disability, thereby improving their level of independence, financial resilience and social inclusion, and making sure there are a variety of meaningful work options available,” Mr Donne said.

“As more Australians with a disability gain access to essential support through the NDIS, it’s vital that employment programs nationwide can meet people’s aspirations to join the workforce,” Mr Donne said.

“Exclusion from employment remains one of the biggest barriers facing Australians with a disability. Every Australian has something to contribute, and we believe that by focusing on abilities we can create a society where everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so,” he said.

“Engaging in meaningful work is the ultimate way in which people with a disability gain greater control over their lives.

“Economic independence increases the range of choices available in life, and gives people with a disability more influence on society through their purchasing decisions. These are important ways that we can achieve greater levels of inclusion.

“We look forward to seeing more policy innovations from all major political parties, to create a flourishing employment market that welcomes people of all abilities,” Mr Donne said.