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Consumers Front and Centre: What consumers really think about Disability Employment Services

Matthew Wright Australian Federation of Disability Organisations

In 2013, the Department of Social Services funded 15 disability consumer organisations from around Australia to engage with people with disability about their experience with Disability Employment Services, with a particular focus on lifting engagement and knowledge of DES among people with disability. This session will explore the systemic findings and recommendations that have emerged from the consumer projects, including key learnings and takeaway messages for DES providers to inform the development of more tailored, holistic services to increase workforce participation and consumer satisfaction. This session is sponsored by CBB - the not for profit people. www.cbb.com.au

Creating Diversity through Partnership: DES as the recruiter of choice

Neal Murphy St John of God

St John of God Health Care is a leading provider of private hospitals, pathology, home nursing and Social Outreach and Advocacy services, throughout Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Since 2013 through their Disability Access and Inclusion plan St John of God have sought to increase opportunities for people with disability to gain employment and develop their career within their Divisions throughout Australia. Neal Murphy Group Coordinator Social Justice Advocacy will speak on how St John of God sees the partnership with DES as crucial its own and other organisations success in this area. He will share the story of how St. John has become a disability confident organisation and continues, through partnering with DES, to build its capacity to create greater diversity within its Divisions.

Creative Partnerships: Mission possible for school, community and business

Andrew Worrall Western Futures

Western Futures is the School Business Community Partnership Broker for the western region of Adelaide. This session will provide a creative model for school, community and business engagement. An effective method to encourage creative partnerships between school, business, parents and the wider community has included events coordinated by Western Futures such as themed School and Business Partnership dinners, Career Advice dinners and events that engage parents. These events provide an opportunity for all key stakeholders to engage, to establish and build ongoing relationships that are mutually beneficial for all parties. Ideas that seem impossible become possible.

DES Service Delivery: The central role of the front-line worker

George Giuliani E-Focus

This session will present a case for additional support and attention to the role of the front-line worker as a pivotal element of quality service provision. Based on 30 years of practice and recent doctorial research George will explain how the relationship between employment consultant and job seeker influences the employment outcomes of disadvantaged job seekers. Drawing on empirical evidence from research in rehabilitation and mental health, the principles of how 'Working Alliance' can be implemented in contracted employment services will be discussed. The presentation will include suggestions to strengthen the capacity of workers and better equip them to manage their daily interaction with job seekers.

DSS: Future directions for Disability Employment Services

Fiona Buffinton Department of Social Services

Fiona will discuss the future of Disability Employment Services including how the introduction of the NDIS and increased contestability of the Disability Management Services will bring new opportunities for the industry. DES providers are well positioned to prepare for the future and build capability to take on these new challenges. Fiona will draw attention to what is working well in DES, and where there are areas to improve, and will highlight how Disability Employment Australia and their membership can contribute towards the continuing success of the program.

Good Practice Disclosure Strategies for Job Seekers: A pilot study

Janice Ollerton Break Thru People Solutions

This session will report on the outcomes of a pilot project, Managing Personal Information: Good practice disclosure strategies for jobseekers with mental health and/or drug and alcohol problems, to aid recovery through employment. Discussion will also highlight the benefits of consumer participation in research. The Deputy Commissioner for the NSW Mental Health Commission reinforced the value of consumer involvement in research, 'I was moved to tears by the presentation. It reinforced my strong belief that research equals recovery.'

Graeme Innes recounts his personal journey

Graeme Innes AM

Graeme Innes, who helped shape much of the anti-discrimination legislation in this country, knew from about the age of 12 he wanted to be a lawyer. "One of the things that drives me is people telling me that I can't do something. That's been true ever since I was a kid. My parents and family learnt very early that if they really wanted me to do something the most effective way to get me to do it was to tell me I couldn't."

Innovation in Employment Services

Kevin Robbie Social Ventures Australia

This session will examine the current trends and pressures on the employment sector in Australia over the next decade, what that might mean for the employment of people with disability. Case studies of innovative approaches from within Australia and internationally will be presented to support organisations to think about service redesign. Innovation in the current world of contract compliance and client centred thinking will inform the presentation.

Mental Health: Linking disability support with systemic reform

Frank Quinlan Mental Health Council of Australia

This session will provide a vision for the future of disability support and employment in relation to psycho-social disability. The will include: opportunities and risks for people with a disability in the current political climate, with reference to the McClure Review of Welfare and the Review of Mental Health Programmes by the National Mental Health Commission; links between the NDIS and employment services; discrimination and stigma against people with a disability who access the welfare and service systems; and ways to address structural barriers to employment for people with a disability

NDIS Update: Lessons from the launch sites

Liz Cairns National Disability Insurance Agency

This session will provide an update on work currently underway in the NDIS Trial Sites. In particular, the focus will be on the sites where scheme participants are in the transition from school to work and the broader working age cohorts. What are we learning about the pathways for young people from school to regular employment? Scheme eligibility, individual plan development and what DES provider involvement is occurring in the Trial Sites will be covered.

NDIS: Practical steps for Disability Employment Services

Craig Harrison Disability Employment Australia

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the disability sector will need to adjust to the world of individualised funding and client choice. Disability Employment Service providers are much closer to this model than many think. A sustainable NDIS must have employment pathways built in to it, and DES providers can deliver upon that need. What do we already know and does that position us to be central in building pathways to employment? This session will provide the presenter’s views of the contribution that DES is very well placed to deliver in partnership with the NDIS.

Participation and Sustainable Employment: Lessons from DES evaluation

Lydia Ross Department of Social Services

This session will present key findings from the evaluation of DES 2010-2013, including lessons for increasing the participation of people with disability in open employment services and achieving sustainable employment. Discussion will include how evaluation evidence integrates with performance management to continue to improve the effectiveness of employment support for people with disability, and how findings can inform strategies for on-the-ground service delivery. The DES Evaluation 2010-2013 Final Report was released in May 2014 and can be accessed at: http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/publications-articles/policy-research/evaluation-of-disability-employment-services-2010-2013.

Piloting Career Advancement Services in DES

Bevan Burkin Disability Employment Australia

Throughout 2013/4, Disability Employment Australia piloted the provision of career advancement services in partnership with ten DES providers. Delegates will obtain an overview of the types of assistance sought by people with disability, a demographic breakdown, an indication of the costs involved and the outcomes achieved. A discussion will follow on how such services might be incorporated into future iterations of the DES model. This project was funded through the National Disability Employment Initiative.

Reinvention of DES through Co-Design

Carolyn Curtis The Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

The percentage of people with disability in employment has barely increased over the last three decades. Current approaches have reached their limits, and the need for reinvention is only accelerated by the arrival of the NDIS. The Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) specialises in building innovation capability in Australia's social sector. Their practical 'co-design' approach provides organisations with tools to build services and sustainable business models to create change. TACSI will share stories of working with families to reinvent family service and carers to reinvent carer support, and explore how co-designing with employers and people with disability could lead to the next generation of disability employment services.

Step Up: The business case for workplace diversity

Paul Licuria Leap Training

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the employment participation rate of people with disability has not changed in the last decade. It is time for business leaders to step up and actively promote true diversity in their workforces. This session makes the business case for employing people with disability, why we should rethink the traditional bounds of recruitment, and presents a step-by-step guide for organisations to create a diverse, disability-aware workforce. Real life examples of this process at work are provided to reinforce the key points.

Storytelling: Building disability awareness and inclusion in the workplace

Diane Utatao Australia Post

Australia Post will share their creative and innovative approach to building disability confidence in their workplace. Diane Utatao will discuss the journey from concept to concrete outcomes including the call out for stories from their 30,000 plus workforce, culminating in the production of a short film entitled Work Mate. Charlie McConnell will share his personal journey which inspired the film. The short film 'Work Mate' will be screened, along with the ‘Making of Work Mate’.

Tackling Barriers to Recovery and Return to Work: Securing behavioural and cultural change

Mansel Aylward Cardiff University and Public Health Wales

Bio-psycho-social factors play a fundamental role in the presentation of illness, recovery and probability of return to, and retention in work. Interventions at the level of the individual based on cognitive and behavioural methods which also address socio-cultural factors substantially facilitate return to work for injured workers, people with disability and those who have health-related problems. This session will explore models of disability and illness which facilitate the development of new interventions. New knowledge is presented on the relationship between work and health that explains why work is generally good for health and wellbeing. There are major implications for healthcare, workplace management, cultural change, state and disability insurance schemes and social policy. The case is also advanced for all in society to share a more realistic, more balanced and more human model of disability and sickness.

The Able Movement: Raising the bar on Australia's belief in the capacity of people with disability

Mark Bagshaw Innov8 Consulting Group

The Able Movement is on a mission to raise the bar on Australia's belief in the capacity of people with disability. It is a new social movement that will share real stories of people with every type of disability who are today getting on with their lives. The Able Movement will mobilise local communities to make changes on the ground to welcome people with disability, bring together thought leaders from across the community to come up with new and innovative ideas that remove the barriers faced by people with disability, and foster and incubate practical solutions, particularly technologies, that help unlock the potential of every Australian with disability.

The Benefits of an Integrated Approach: Inclusion of a psychologist in the employment assistance team

David Law EPIC Employment Service Inc

The DES-ESS caseload shows 35% of participants have a psychiatric primary disability (DES Data 31 Jan 2014). Many of these participants are not linked with any mental health services. In response EPIC Employment has developed a service model to integrate a mental health professional into the employment assistance team. The model provides short-term assistance to address the immediately presenting mental health needs and connect the participant to appropriate mental health services in the community. The pilot for this model began in 2013. The interim results are encouraging with 61% of participants entering open employment.

The Changing Profile of the DES Workforce

Craig Harrison Disability Employment Australia

In 2010 and 2013, Disability Employment Australia surveyed the characteristics of the DES workforce and received over 800 responses each year. Delegates will receive a comprehensive analysis of workforce characteristics over the past three years, including demographics, skill levels, primary job functions, remuneration and education. Craig Harrison, CEO, will then lead a discussion and seek industry views on the implications of the findings.

The NDIS: A role-based information communication technology approach to support engagement and employment

Scott Hollier Media Access Australia

The launch of the National Disability Insurance scheme (NDIS) has become a catalyst for disability service providers and industry to find new and innovative ways to provide effective individualised support in the workplace. However, there have been concerns that the accessibility of ICT is limited. The Service Providers’ Accessibility Guide was created to help agencies and service providers deliver information which meets the needs of clients and employees. It details how to implement accessibility and also provides advice on how staff and clients with disability can set up their computers and mobile devices in an accessible way. This session will focus on how organisations and workplaces can prepare for the changes occurring as a result of the NDIS and ensure that people in different organisational roles understand their particular accessibility requirements and responsibilities.

Video Address from the Honorable Senator Mitch Fifield

Mitch Fifield Australian Government

Due to international travel, the Hon Senator Mitch Fifield will address delegates via video.

Working with Difficult and Dangerous Clients in DES: How to prevent workplace incidents

Vanessa Parletta ORS Group

The level of difficult and dangerous clients within DES seems to be increasing. It is important that all staff working in DES and their organisations are aware of their contractual requirements in this area and that they have strong processes in place to support and assist their front line staff. This presentation will consider practical strategies to assist individuals and organisations in dealing with this important issue.

Workplace Rehabilitation Programs: New opportunities for DES providers

Peter Scott ORS Group

Disability Employment Service (DES) providers have needed to adapt to significant changes over the past 10 years and this will continue to be the case for some time to come. It has always been true that out of change comes opportunities and this is certainly the case for DES providers. One of the significant new opportunities for DES providers relates to the increasing recognition by workers compensation authorities and insurers of the value of involving DES providers in the job placement component of workplace rehabilitation programs. My presentation will involve an overview of the changes in workers compensation systems and what DES providers can be doing to maximize both their involvement and effectiveness in workplace rehabilitation programs.