Fairhaven Services hosted a BuyAbility action week event to showcase the diverse and impressive range of products and services that are made locally by Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

L to R: Chris Holstein, Liesl Tesch, Michael, Stephen, Clive Blunt, Monique Cardon, Anne Charlton and Hannah.

Fairhaven CEO, Monique Cardon, said, “People living with disability have the right to an ordinary life that includes an opportunity to work. Our event aimed to raise awareness that supported employment is an option for local people, particularly young people transitioning from school into the workforce.”

A study conducted by peak body National Disability Services estimated that over 200,000 people with a disability want to work and have the capacity to do so with the right support.

However, Australia has one of the lowest levels of employment of people with disability in the OECD.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out across the country, there are currently fewer than 2% of NDIS Plans that include funding for ‘Finding and Keeping a Job’. This means that at full scheme roll out in 2020 less than 10,000 people living with disability nationally will have a job under the NDIS.

There are three ADEs on the Central Coast – Fairhaven Services, Lasercraft Australia and Terama Industries. Together they provide work opportunities for fewer than 210 people.

This event was designed to promote and secure a thriving supported employment sector – one that produces high-quality products and services and meaningful employment and training opportunities for people with disability.

National Disability Services NSW Sector Operations Manager, Karen Stace, said, “NDS is encouraging NDIS planners and Local Area Coordinators to adopt a ‘work first’ approach in the planning process; to encourage participants to develop employment goals; and for the NDIS to fund the supports that they require to achieve these goals.”

Ms Cardon added, “ADEs offer real employment which means delivering on commercial contracts. We are asking government and businesses to consider purchasing from an ADE to provide meaningful work for people with disability.”

… If you are responsible for purchasing goods or services for your company or local area, consider Australian Disability Enterprises like Fairhaven, Terama or Lasercraft.

… If you are an LAC or NDIA planner, please have employment conversations so that employment as a goal is the norm rather than the exception.

… If you are in contact with anybody who lives with disability and wants to work, refer them to Fairhaven, Lasercraft or Terama.

… If you are none of the above, you can become a Supported Employment Champion! Promote your local disability enterprises to your community, to family and friends.

2 November 2017