Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Strengthening Australian Disability Enterprises

The Australian Government will invest an additional $2.75 million to help Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) as they move toward the Australian Government’s vision for supported employment and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas said the investment supports the Inclusive Employment 2012 – 2022, A Vision for Supported Employment which the Australian Government released in May last year.

The Vision outlines a significant change over the next decade in the way we support people with disability in employment.

The new investment will enable:

  • experts to work with ADEs to explore becoming a social enterprise, review their social enterprise business plans, as well as one on one support to assist those ADEs wanting to become a social enterprise;
  • an analysis of government and big business procurement and the market for current ADE products to identify better alignment, and designing a training program for ADEs aimed at improving their tendering, business development, pricing and costing
  • publications and workshops for employers, micro businesses and ADEs to support them in transitioning to a social enterprise model, and
  • contribution payments to assist ADEs in their transition to a social enterprise model and to develop new commercially viable business lines to meet market demand.

“Importantly, this investment will also assist ADEs in the lead up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Senator McLucas said.

“The National Disability Insurance Scheme will significantly change how we deliver disability care and support and we want all areas of the disability sector, including ADEs, to be ready to make the change.”

Australian Disability Enterprises employ around 20,000 people with moderate to severe disability, providing products and services across a wide range of industries, including design, retail, printing and packaging, manufacturing, laundry and landscaping.

Today’s announcement builds on a series of measures being delivered by the Australian Government to support ADEs including $1.2m investment to support older Australian Disability Enterprise workers transitioning to retirement delivered in November and our $3.1 million commitment to prepare for the NDIS.