People with disabilities face discrimination, a lack of accessibility and flexibility when trying to get a job, and that needs to change.
Only 53% of people with disabilities of working age are in paid work, compared to 82% of their non-disabled peers. This gap has not changed over decades. When compared with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, Australia ranks 21 out of 29 in employment participation rates for people with disabilities.
“We know that many people with disabilities find that outdated attitudes, a lack of flexibility and accessibility can make getting and keeping a job incredibly hard,” said Jeff Smith, CEO, People with Disability Australia.
“We want to see the Australia Government develop a National Jobs Plan for people with disability, that looks at every barrier, and every part of the employment picture. This Plan needs funding, and to not just be a talk fest. People with disability need to see action.”
Less than 25% of people with disability with an NDIS plan are in work, and half of those people are working for a few dollars an hour in sheltered workshops, or Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).
“As part of the National Jobs Plan, we want to see a fund set up to start to transition people with disability out of sheltered workshops, and into open employment where they are paid a decent wage, instead of a few dollars an hour,” said Mr Smith.