Placing people living with disability at the centre of the services they receive is a key pillar of a discussion paper on the proposed Disability Employment Services Quality Framework, released today for public consultation.
The draft framework is the next step in ensuring people living with disability receive the best possible service from providers helping them to find employment.
There are 4.4 million Australians living with disability – or one in six people. For those who want to work, they often face barriers to do so, with the unemployment rate of Australians living with disability more than double the national average.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said improving employment outcomes for people with disability is a key focus of Australia’s Disability Strategy and more broadly for the Albanese Labor Government.
“As we announced in the 2022-23 Budget, a new specialist disability employment services model will replace the current Disability Employment Services program from 1 July 2025,” Minister Rishworth said.
“While this detailed reform work is conducted, we are making adjustments to the current Disability Employment Services program to improve service quality and – importantly – embed the views and feedback of participants in how quality is measured.
“It is critical we ensure our Disability Employment Services providers are delivering high quality services that best meet the needs of people with disability and that their views and needs are at the core of these services.”
The new framework is being developed based on ongoing consultation with disability representative groups, current Disability Employment Services providers and other organisations in the disability sector.
It has been developed with reference to a range of existing employment and disability services performance frameworks and has five distinct ‘Quality Elements’:
- Participants’ rights
- Quality of service
- Provider capability and governance
- Feedback and complaints
- Formal assurance.
“This draft framework puts Australians with disability at the centre,” Minister Rishworth said.
Feedback on the discussion paper is invited from Disability Employment Services providers, peak bodies, disability advocacy groups and individuals.
The discussion paper can be found at engage.dss.gov.au with submissions closing on 26 February 2023.