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Boosting employment and enhancing decision-making for people with disability

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

The Albanese Labor Government is committed to improving outcomes for people with disability and has commenced the design consultation process on the role and scope of a new Disability Employment Centre of Excellence.

New Good Practice Guidelines will also be published this week on the best way to support government, private and non-government organisations to engage with and include people with disability in community consultation, decision making and policy and product development.

The establishment of the Centre of Excellence to improve employment outcomes for people with disability and increase the capacity of employment service providers and employers will deliver on an election commitment.

A total of $1.1 million was allocated to developing the Centre of Excellence, which is due to be operational by July 2024.

The Government has today released an options paper on the Centre of Excellence, developed based on consultation feedback received to date, which outlines some models for consideration and a proposed approach.

Initial consultations have heard suggestions from stakeholders that the Centre should be a disability employment “one stop shop” to access information and include an evidence-based Community of Practice.

The Centre could also bring together case studies, foster best practice and outreach with employers, develop data and evidence, and mobilise networks.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Government recognises people with disability can face many – and sometimes overlapping – barriers to employment, which prevent their full social and economic participation in Australian society.

“The unemployment rate for people with disability has not shifted in 30 years and our Government is committed to removing the barriers to employment they experience. It is clear more needs to be done,” Minister Rishworth said.

“This new Centre of Excellence is all about addressing barriers and finding a better approach to disability employment through collaboration, cooperation and information sharing.

“But we can’t do it alone – to make sure this Centre hits the mark and helps deliver outcomes, we need help from individuals with lived experience, the community, and the sector.

“My message is to get involved – give your feedback on the options paper to contribute to a strong Centre that will ultimately help more people with disability prepare for work, get a job, keep working and progress their careers.”

The final report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, reinforced that ensuring people with disability have the opportunity to find and keep meaningful employment is integral to an inclusive Australia.

Along with the options paper, new Good Practice Guidelines for Engaging with People with Disability Guidelines will be released this week.

The Guidelines were developed in consultation with over 80 community members, including people with lived experience of disability, First Nations people with disability and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with disability.

They provide practical tools and resources that support the user to embed a human rights approach and build capacity of individuals on how to engage people with disability in the design and delivery of programs and services.

To view the options paper or make a submission, visit the Department of Social Service’s Engage website or provide feedback in writing to COE@dss.gov.au

by Friday 10 November 2023.

Feedback is welcome from everyone, including people with disability, family members, carers, advocates, employers, service providers, peak bodies, universities, academics and other organisations.

The Good Practice Guidelines will be published on Australia’s Disability Strategy Hub on the Disability Gateway.


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