Evidence proves maintaining employment while living with a disability increases quality of life, living standards, personal health and, importantly, improves self esteem. Challenges may be faced in employment, however, there is never a better time to be working or looking for work whilst living with disability in Australia. Improvements to Australian disability support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are continuing to evolve, to ensure you are supported on every front to look for and maintain employment. The information below ensures you get the right support to meet your current employment needs.
Although there are many changes taking place within the Australian Employment Services, at present Disability Employment Services (DES) are best prepared to help you prepare for, secure and maintain employment. Your DES provider will work with you every step of the way to:
These specialised employment services are free if you are deemed eligible. To find your nearest DES provider and register for their support, you will need to contact Centrelink first. Centrelink will determine what support needs you require and determine your eligibility.
If you are unable to perform the role you were employed to do, it is important to discuss your concerns with the key people at your workplace. Together you can determine flexibility with the duties you perform, hours you work or whether modifications and/or technology can be implemented to support you. Generally, the key people within the workplace to best assist you are located in the Human Resources or Occupational Health & Safety departments.
It is also important to speak with members of your healthcare team, including your GP, to get guidance and professional support to ensure your employer is equipped with information pertaining to your workplace needs. An Occupational Therapist is trained to be able to assess and develop strategies to support you maintain employment. Speak with your GP to get a referral to a local Occupational Therapist, or JobAccess have Occupational Therapists who will work with you and your employer to develop a plan to assist you with maintaining employment.
Job in Jeopardy Assistance is available to you if you feel you’re at risk of losing your job due to your condition. Fortunately, you do not need to be receiving Centrelink benefits to access Job in Jeopardy Assistance. Job In Jeopardy can be accessed through your local Disability Employment Services provider and can help you with:
To find a Disability Employment Service in your area, visit: Disability Employment Providers
Disclosure is an individual choice that you can make based on your own personal circumstances. A question more specific to ask is: ‘Does my condition impact on my ability to undertake my job?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, there may be implications by you not disclosing. JobAccess provides a wealth of information available to you on disclosure, including:
You can access more information regarding disclosure at: Disclosure
There is tremendous support in Australia to help you maintain employment. Please explore the links below for further information, and best of all, consult with your healthcare team to determine your needs in finding and maintaining employment.