Redevelopment of Australia’s public policy in the area gainful and successful employment for people with disability, would be of benefit to Australia. The positive benefits of access to open and inclusive employment cannot be under estimated. Increasing the participation rate of working age Australians with disability by ten percentage points, which would close the participation gap between people with disability and people without disability by one third, would result in a cumulative $40 billion increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over ten years (2011, p. 17 & 22).
Employment does not only provide an individual with monetary and personal fulfilment. Equally, employment impacts on individual socioeconomic outcomes—health, wellbeing, independence and autonomy—consequently reducing costs to the nation. As Matthew Desmond wrote in his frequently cited New York Times Magazine article “Dollars on the Margins” (2019),
A living wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It prevents premature death. It shields children from neglect.
This report outlines a number of leading practices—drawn from shared characteristics of the nine leading disability employment programs visited during my research. Specifically,
These leading practices directly translate to my recommendations and conclusions that Australia must:
Keywords: employment pathways, disability, open labour market, inclusive workplace, workplace adjustment, gainful employment, successful employment, sustainable employment
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