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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Work and Disability



When I talk to young ­people living with a disability about their goals and aspirations … (they) invariably ­include contributing in a workplace, to achieve their goals some ­people may need access to ­support services to be able to get to work, other people may need additional training or study for a particular role. “For others, it’s about ­overcoming a current period of ­incapacity and being supported
through employment ­services to secure a job.”
Kevin Andrews MP


This statement really rings true to me.

A few months ago, I had a very productive meeting with Michael Sukkar MP and we discussed the issue of the Government making people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) go get a job. He commented that this was not aimed at people like Miss Chloe, who has a very obvious disability, but more-so at those on the pension who are not really disabled. Those who may have needed support from an accident or such and now are capable of getting back into the workforce, but haven't tried. Those who are deliberately routing the system...and others who could do modified work.
Although I was deeply relieved I wouldn't have to jump through, yet another flaming hoop to get basic support for Miss Chloe, I was also a bit concerned.

I believe (and mentioned this to Michael) that the Government are actually focusing in the wrong area of disability. I believe whilst necessary to go after those people who are routing the system to conform is important, it is not the most cost effective way to reduce the money spent on disability pensions. 

"These people make a profession
out of ripping off the system
and just move on to
another area to rort. "



I actually think the Government would be more productive working with people like Miss Chloe and those mentioned in Kevin Andrews above quote who are desperate to work and contribute financially to our society.

This need to be done through education of the employers and much higher standards within the employment agencies for people with disabilities.

And NO IT CAN'T BE ACHIEVED BY DANGLING CARROTS OR SMACKING THE PLAYERS ON THE WRIST.

Here are some of my own ideas, about how to get people
with a disability into the workforce:



 
"It can be effectively achieved by re-educating society and SHOWING employers what these people are capable of." 




Government  can do this by creating programs or marketing, that make employers aware they actually have a huge new area of employment that will suit many people with an intellectual disability. Many of our youth today are not interested in going through 12 years of education and Uni, to be told they need to sweep floors and stack shelves and to menial tasks.  And many employers are struggling to have these positions permanently filled....These positions are ideal for many people with ID.
 
By changing the structure of how the Government pays the disability employment agencies to a system where they are rewarded for training and achieving longer than 6 week employment for their client and ensuring the fit between employer & employee works.




"By educating non-profit organisations that people with a disability are not great slave labour."





I am sure they feel they are doing the right thing by these people by providing them with something to do during the day and helping their self-esteem, and they are right!!!

BUT, I believe, if they are paying some-one to use the disabled persons services ie:
a customer in a cafe is paying for a meal and the person with a disability brings that meal to them...then surely the disabled person is entitle to some sort of monetary reward?....just like the rest of the population. 


"I confess I get  tired of community organisations 
using people from the disability population 
to enhance their organisations, 
but don't believe they are worth 
any sort of remuneration."



The Government needs to look at ways that


"People who want to work 
and find work are able to work as many hours as they like WITHOUT losing their healthcare card." 







This is a massive fear for many people with disabilities who have medical issues. What happens if I get a job and lose my benefits? I am going to go out on a limb here & say, the healthcare card should be available to ALL people with a permanent disability - just because they have more expensive needs to the general population.
 

By removing this massive fear to MOST families and people with disabilities, you open the way for them to be free to chase their goals of working for money.


“Often it is about finding an employer who recognises the contribution that an individual can make to their business and that employer providing some flexibility to meet the needs of the individual,” Kevin Andrews MP



Kevin Andrews, I believe you are on the right track BUT do you have the courage to investigate any of the above suggestions and reduce the pension through positive and long term steps, instead of changing deck-chairs on the Titanic????

I am more than happy to help, I'll book you in my diary,
Lets get together and work a plan.




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