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Searching for a Job When You Have a Disability: A Guide

Searching for a Job When You Have a Disability

When it comes to looking for a job, people with disabilities often face unique challenges. What are your rights to employment? What resources are available to help you in your job search? And most importantly, how can you find help choosing an employer that will have your best interests at heart and provide you with the support you need to thrive in the workplace?

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of how to search for a job when you have a disability. We’ll discuss some of the best ways to identify potential employers and find workplace adjustment services. We’ll also talk about disability employment service providers and how they can help.

Disability and Employment – The Bottom Line

What many don’t know is that there is a big gap in the job sector when it comes to disability employment. Currently, only around 48% of Australians living with a disability are employed in comparison to around 80% of people without a disability currently working. On top of this, almost 1 in 5 Australians between the age of 15 and 24 that live with a disability claim to have been a victim of discrimination with half of those instances being an employer. Unfortunately, there’s a substantial gap in the job sector when it comes to hiring hundreds of thousands of capable Australians which is only fueled by the negative experiences people with a disability have experienced by being victims of workplace discrimination.

What Are Your Rights?

Every Australian, whether they’re living with a disability or not has the right to employment so long as they can perform the ‘inherent requirements’ of the job as outlined in the Australian Disability Discrimination Act. A future employer is obligated to make the necessary adjustments to your workspace (such as installing a wheelchair-accessible ramp where required) so you can adequately complete the tasks designated to you during your employment. An employer will also receive support from the Australian Governments Workplace Modifications Scheme which will provide the business necessary funding to make the required workplace adjustments to cater to your specific needs.

Identifying the Right Employer With a DES Provider

Finding the right employer can be hard but fortunately, there’s a range of resources available to you that can help you on your job search. As a first step, connecting with a local Disability Employment Services (DES) provider is a great start. A DES is a provider that is contracted by the Australian Government to assist job seekers with disabilities to find and maintain employment. They will work closely with you to understand your skills, interests, and experience and can provide you with individualised support throughout your job search.

Your DES provider can assist you with:

  • Improving your resume/CV
  • Practice interview techniques
  • Workplace readiness training
  • Job matching and referral
  • Individualised job coaching and support

The DES provider can also provide you with a list of potential employers in your area that have a proven track record of being supportive of and employing people with disabilities.

How the NDIS Can Help You in Your Job Search?

A great way to prepare yourself for employment is through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). One of the great things about the NDIS is that it can provide you with funding to help you find and maintain a job. The scheme can also help fund workplace adjustments, transport costs, and other necessary work-related expenses.

If you’re a job seeker with a disability, you can connect with a local NDIS provider who will work with you to develop an ‘Individual Employment Plan’. This plan will outline the necessary support and funding you need to find and maintain employment. Your NDIS provider can also put you in touch with local disability employment service providers who can assist you with your job search.

The NDIS can also provide funding to support any necessary up-skilling you may require. For example, if you’re a job seeker with a disability who wishes to become a qualified hairdresser, the NDIS will not fund the required TAFE qualification. They may, however, provide funding to have a Support Worker present during your studies or transport to the institution if you’re unable to drive or use public transport. Choosing the right provider comes down to if they have good community access or community participation programs. Community participation is important as it allows you to develop essential life skills in a comfortable setting with the aid of a support worker.

Connect With an NDIS Provider For Help

Don’t let your disability hold you back from achieving your career goals. There are plenty of government-funded programs and resources that can help provide you with the right life skills for employment as well as connect you with the best employer for your needs. If you’re looking for support from an NDIS provider, OSAN Ability Assist is here to help. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in upskilling for your dream job.

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