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Disability Employment Australia strongly supports the two-year extension of the DES program

DEA congratulates the Minister for Social Services, The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP and the Albanese Government’s decision to extend DES for two years. It is a reasonable and considered approach to an important reform.

This will ensure that suitable time is available for ideas to enhance the current DES to be tested and trialled, with a core focus on quality service and improved employment outcomes for people with disability.

The Minister and Government have demonstrated their commitment to improving the employment opportunities of people with disability via the recent disability employment round table, Jobs and Skills Summit and development of a White Paper.

Most DEA members have been operating the DES program for over 20 years in towns and cities across Australia. DES providers have secure sustainable employment for more than 200,000 people with disability since 2018. They have done an excellent job, engaging people with disability seeking employment, their families, communities, and employers.

DEA expects that the next stage of the process, designing a new model of disability employment to include disability representative organisations, employer groups and provider peak bodies such as DEA. DES providers also play a critical role in understanding service quality and ensuring that people with disability are the centre of decision-making and service.

DEA also supports the Government decision to open consultation on modernising the Disability Services Act 1986, seeking to put people with disability and their views at the centre of policy design.

DEA CEO, Rick Kane says, “The Albanese Government has made the right decision to extend DES so we can start work on the next stage of reforming DES. The process must be truly consultative, engage evidence, data and experience and allow enough time for testing. We look forward to working with Minister Rishworth and the Department and other stakeholders to continue to improve the disability employment service model.”

Disability Employment Australia is the pre-eminent peak body for disability employment services.

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