As a person with a disability so far I have had no say – and neither has (virtually) anybody else amongst Australia’s community of people with disability (Here I should acknowledge the work of my colleagues at Breakthru who clearly informed and encouraged their clients to make comment on the process – they were almost universally opposed).
The Government supports social inclusion; its services appear not to. There has been very little consultation with the people disability employment services are aimed at. Incidentally, surely their voices should have more weight than those of a service provider (and I include myself amongst the vested interests)?
I like stories or allegories; so here’s one: Yesterday I went to a sandwich shop and bought a sandwich. I had a choice of fillings and chose one that suited me. My choice was based on my wants and needs and was an informed choice (I have to eat less and I have to eat more healthily!).
The shopkeeper brought me a salad sandwich, but this wasn’t any sandwich. It was fabulous, the bread was fresh, the salad similarly so. In short my sandwich met and exceeded my expectation. This was a 5 star sandwich.
Under the present disability employment service star ratings my experience would have been somewhat different:
The shopkeeper would have taken my order, ignored my choice, chosen my sandwich and he would have been micro-managed on the speed with which he did so. Having decided for me the next ‘key performance indicator would have been the time it took for him to get me whatever he felt I needed (want’s abandoned!).
Next, the speed of delivery of the plate.
Finally, the meal! But it doesn’t have to be what I wanted or needed – half a sandwich is fine, sharing sandwiches encouraged! A quarter of a sandwich counts, the crust will do and, should it be only crumbs and a wilted bit of greenery I am supposed to count myself lucky!
Except I don’t. It’s not right that government and service providers make choices for the people that receive service with little or no consultation.
If I become unemployed here’s what I want: I want a service that is tailored to meet my needs and these, first and foremost are employment that pays my bills without the need for government subsidy. I have managed this for my whole life and I don’t want to hand that capacity away.
Ensure it is in the interests of service providers to get people that have a disability off the pension and away from benefits wherever that is desired and/or possible. Remuneration on the basis of reduced pension is easy to achieve, can be verified by Centrelink and removes the need for excessive bureaucracy)
Insist upon the inclusion of the wishes of service users into the decision making processes of employment services (there’s a thought!)
Start with the assumption that every person is capable of work and wants to work and do not penalise service providers on the basis of the time taken to achieve that result (speed to placement is a perverse disincentive to take on people with more profound disability)
Create a climate of stability and clear direction, rather than rule by fear and confusion.
I could go on (and do!)
When I come into a sandwich shop I want the meal I order and am delighted when my expectations are exceeded. I don’t want what the shop owner thinks I need and I certainly am not interested in the opinion of his landlord.
Australian Disability Employment Services used to be amongst the best in the world. They (and I include NOVA) have slipped down international rankings and are now amongst the world’s least effective. The proposed purchasing program will accelerate and institutionalise that placement.
Common sense and self-interest should stop the rot. My last post included the recommendations of a recent Senate inquiry into disability employment purchasing – let’s hope that some of them are listened to.
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
I'm giving fair warning of my intention to expose examples of the current DES-ESS contract's exploitation.
I have written to the Commonwealth expressing my concerns about clear manipulation of the present contract....
The new contract for Disability Employment Services (DES) will not bring performance improvement.
Government will scratch it's head, blame the economy, blame people with disability, talk about educating employers and spend money on consultations before coming to the conclusion that people with disability must meet more stringent 'mutual obligations'....
Each year, around about the International Day of People with a Disability (IDPwD) NOVA Employment holds a formal graduation for students that have participated in our pre-employment programs....
Profiting from poverty
Profiting from Poverty
I am genuinely horrified by this disaster: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/02/the-demerit-system-is-ruthless-social-policy-designed-to-keep-the-poor-powerless
I believe that we presently represent the job hopes of around 1500 people, in various stages of their progression to independent employment....
New Contract but no change!
New Contract but no change!
Today marks the first day of a new Disability Employment Service (DES) contract.
There are new players and new rules....
'It's nice to be busy' and 'busy is better than idle' and all of my mum's other sayings about work being good for you, and all of them said; we're drowning!
The administrative burden of a new Disability Employment Service contract (starts July 1st) and the mountains of paperwork required for an NDIS dollar (approximately 10X that of the former TTW program) has seen us add 3 extra staff to the admin team and we are still receiving a large volume of enquiries that are causing us some time delay in getting back to folk....
Podcasts I've been learning all about Podcasts (I suspect that this may be a long road!)
However, getting paid to be inspired is not the worst way to spend a Monday afternoon and that is just how my day has gone....
I am truly fortunate to work with the very best people in this great nation and we are truly lucky to be part of the best short film festival this side of anywhere!
"Focusonability" voting starts today and there is an even larger number of films (287) than last year....
On the money Sometime over the next week a new Disability Employment Service contract will be announced.
We are moving into a new world of greater consumer choice and greater mobility of job seekers....
Making a tough job tougher!
Making a tough job tougher
It isnt easy to get a decent job and its harder to do so if you have a disability.
NOVA employs around 190 people, an effective and experienced team who are able to draw upon a staff of highly skilled trainers and a support program honed over almost 30 years and tens of thousands of participants....
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....