Employment for people with intellectual disability key focus of new forum

Posted 3 weeks ago.

A forum designed to demonstrate successful pathways from school to work and open employment for Australians with intellectual disability is coming to Geelong this February.

The National Employment Forum 2018, organised by Inclusion Australia (NCID) and held on Thursday 8 February, is a one day event which will focus on how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Disability Employment Services can increase open employment opportunities and deliver positive outcomes.

Inclusion Australia Policy Advisor Paul Cain says this forum in Geelong will offer insight and opportunity in how people with intellectual disability can achieve successful employment careers when they receive the right type and level of support.

“This is the key message of the event,” he says.

“The forum has invited employees, employers and employment assistance providers to showcase best practices that lead to high rates of job placement and job sustainability.

“It will highlight and educate how best practice requires a seamless collaboration between the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Disability Employment Services to support school leavers with intellectual disability achieve open employment jobs.”

Inclusion Australia has previously held forums and workshops on transition from school to work and open employment in different areas and regions of Australia, with Mr Cain noting that this particular forum has been designed to demonstrate successful pathways from school to work in open employment and hoe the NDIS and Disability Employment Services can achieve increase employment participation and cost savings.

“It is the first, but it will not be the last,” he says.

“The Forum is aimed at people with intellectual disability, self-advocates, their families, disability providers, policy and government officials with an interest in open employment.

“It’s an opportunity to look at what works in assisting job seekers with intellectual disability get jobs in open employment, with the knowledge helping to inform job seekers and families to make an informed choice on support to help them achieve their open employment goal.

“It is also an opportunity for providers and policy makers to better understand the support practices which achieve high rates of job placement and job sustainability.”

Mr Cain highlights that the forum is already proving popular with people, having already half sold out, with still a few weeks to go, also encouraging those interested in attending to reserve their place.

“It is important for the community to know that people with intellectual disability have the capacity to work in open employment when they get the right support,” Mr Cain explains.

“It is important to show the community examples of success and the types of supports that are critical to success.

“We want to challenge low expectations and build support that achieves inclusion.

“This challenges old stereotypes and myths about the capacity of this group to be included in the community and the workforce, and it offers employers and co-workers the opportunity to see that people with intellectual disability can contribute to a business and a more inclusive Australia.”

While tickets to the event are limited, Mr Cain encourages all interested in attending to come along, noting that Inclusion Australia have made lower-priced tickets options available to concession holders and self-advocates to come along and “be part of the excitement and to learn more about open employment”.

More information can be found online with tickets also available via eventbrite.

A full program is expected to be released soon.

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