17 July 2023

We welcome the Federal Government’s release of the Disability Employment Services (DES) Quality Framework.

Image: Emma Bennison, Chief Innovation Officer, wearing a light pink shirt and dark pants, stands next to a brick wall with a tree behind her. Photography: Jess Oakenfull, commissioned by the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

As a major provider of Disability Services across Australia, Life Without Barriers is committed to improving employment opportunities for people with disability.

Through our Access Inclusion and Employment Plan (AIEP), Life Without Barriers is enhancing our workforce and business practices with clear targets and lobbying all Australian employers and governments to do the same.

Chief Innovation Officer at Life Without Barriers, Emma Bennison said the Government’s commitments to reform DES are absolutely needed and whilst they are commended for taking the first step, it must be a multifaceted approach.

“What is needed to see a change in the employment rates for people with disability is people with lived experience leading the design process.“ Said Emma.

"For too long, the views, voice and experiences of people with a disability have been placed on the periphery when forming the government programs that are put in place to support them.

"This is a really great first step, however, in order to move the needle on unemployment of people living with disabilities, we’re going to need to do a whole range of reforms, and that includes more than just changes to the DES program."

The 2022-2025 Access Inclusion and Employment Plan outlines Life Without Barrier’s commitments to improving access and creating employment without barriers for people with disability.

Central to the plan is for 15% of our workforce to identify as having a disability in the next three years.

“One in five customers in Australia will be a person with a disability, whether or not their disability is visible – that perspective is vital when providing any service to the public." Said Emma.

“It makes good economic sense for any business, including disability service providers to have skilled and talented people with lived experience of disability in the workforce.

“To truly change the employment outcomes for people with disability, we can’t just look at DES. We must see Government, the care sector and the corporate sector set their own targets and quotas for disability employment in their workforces.”

You can find the Disability Employment Services Quality Framework here.

AIEP 2022-2025 Plan

We champion diversity, inclusivity and equality in all we do.

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