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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