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Designing a New Disability Employment Service

Ann explores the new opportunity to strengthen employment outcomes for participants. Submissions close January 4th 2022.

By Ann Drieberg

Updated 15 Apr 202414 Dec 2021

Tis the season for consultations! The latest – to build a better Disability Employment Service (DES) – is now open until 4 January 2022.

DES is the Australian government’s employment service that helps people with disability find work and keep a job.

Why are we highlighting DES to NDIS providers? Well, one of the outcomes – actually, the main outcome – of NDIS employment supports is for participants to transition to DES. So, we have a stake in making sure the DES program strengthens the employment outcomes we have helped foster.

You can find the paper and make a submission here. We need to be part of designing what a good DES will look like, which includes supporting participants to provide their feedback and insights into how the Australian government can support them in employment. 

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has provided a consultation paper in Easy Read and Auslan; upon request, language and braille versions can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

The Consultation

The current iteration of DES concludes on 30 June 2023, and the Australian government has been exploring what DES.02 will look like through formal consultations, engagement with a range of organisations like employers and employment service providers, and hearing from people with disability and academics.

You may be interested in the responses from other consultations that have been considered as part of DES review:

How to Respond

Responses can be in written format in an email ([email protected]), by post to Attn: Disability Employment Reforms Branch, GPO Box 9820, Canberra ACT 2601, by filling in the Easy Read document, or by providing a video or voice recording. Responses can also be submitted online through the “Make a Submission” button on the DSS website.

What DSS Wants to Know

There are nine groups of questions that DSS is asking people with disability to provide their insights into:

The Easy Read guide provides prompting questions to help think about responses to each of these areas of interest. The guide can also be used to record participants’ answers.

Supporting People with Disability to Respond?

Inclusion Australia has been running focus groups for people with an intellectual disability to understand their experiences with DES and what they think DES should look like. We encourage all providers to find ways to support participants with work outcomes to provide feedback to the consultation.

What can you do?

If you are a provider, family member, friend, or person with a disability looking for work, make some time, set up a focus group, invite some friends over, and record your thoughts about how the Australian government can help you or someone with a disability get and keep a job.


Ann Drieberg

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