Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

New funding to help Australian Disability Enterprises prepare for National Disability Insurance Scheme

A $3.1 million investment by the Australian Government will help businesses that employ people with disability to prepare for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas announced funding today to help Australian Disability Enterprises prepare for reform in the way we deliver disability care and support.

The investment responds to a number of recommendations contained in a report, prepared by the Australian Disability Enterprise Vision Advisory Group and based on the Inclusion for people with disability through sustainable supported employment discussion paper.

Senator McLucas said the funding announced today is an early investment in the report’s recommendations.

“Australian Disability Enterprises employ more than 20,000 Australians with disability. A National Disability Insurance Scheme will significantly change how we deliver disability care and support, and we want all areas of the disability sector to be ready to make the change,” Senator McLucas said.

“Our funding will kick start that process as well as respond to the Advisory Group’s recommendations around new funding models and better supporting employees to understand their rights and obligations in the workplace.

The Australian Government’s initial investment includes:

  • a capital fund to purchase services or equipment that will assist in readiness for an NDIS;
  • training sessions to prepare for an individualised funding model;
  • corporate governance training for Boards;
  • workshops for Australian Disability Enterprises to discuss the proposed Case Based Funding model;
  • a ‘best practice’ forum for Australian Disability Enterprises; and
  • materials for supported employees and Australian Disability Enterprises to better understand their rights and obligations in the workplace.

Senator McLucas said the Advisory Group’s report provides a strong framework for the work expectations and aspirations of people with disability, their families and carers, as well as service providers, governments and the general community.

They have made 11 recommendations, including building better career paths for people with disability, investigating ways to improve wage and superannuation outcomes, and removing policy and program disincentives to work.

“This is a comprehensive report which will require detailed consideration by the Government; however, we thought it was important to respond immediately to some of the more pressing recommendations.

“Importantly, the report recommends focusing on an individual’s needs and aspirations, ensuring socially inclusive work environments that are safe and comfortable, improving businesses that are providing supported employment, and improving transitions between different service types.

Senator McLucas acknowledged the hard work of the members of the Advisory Group in developing the report.

“Members of the Advisory Group brought a wealth of knowledge about the experience of people with disability and carers, the challenges for the service sector and in government administration at state and federal levels.

“I want to thank members of the group for their tireless commitment and hard work on the report.”

The Vision Advisory Group’s report followed a public consultation process which attracted more than 600 submissions.

To view the report, visit the FaHCSIA website.