Government gives out $19.5m to help people with disability find work – Here’s who got the money

The Federal Government has given out $19.5m in grants to 64 organisations. The purpose of these grants is to support one year programs to help people with disability participating in the National Disability Insurance Scheme to achieve improved ‘Economic Participation’ – Or in other words, to create job opportunities for people with disability.

Looking at the project descriptions (below), it appears part of the funds will go to the direct employment of people with disability, while plenty will still go to the usual consulting and education projects. This is unfortunate as the latter tends to not result in delivering accessible employment opportunities so much as powerpoint presentations.

Notable projects include nearly $900k to make a documentary series, the AFL & Hawthorn Football Club and a strong showing from Local Councils all across Australia.

Still, if you are seeking employment, here are 64 organisations you may want to reach out to right now…

Challenge Community Services


“The Regional Entrepreneurship Challenge (REC) involves the delivery of a 48-week face-to-face entrepreneurial training course for 20 young people with intellectual disability in the New England region of NSW. The training will be supported by a Program Facilitator and Disability Mentors.

REC also includes an app designed specifically for people with intellectual disability called Better Goals. This will provide a platform for course participants to improve their digital literacy and planning skills as well as record their goals, feelings, interactions and networks.The REC will culminate in the development of a microbusiness or the pursuit of self-driven employment for each participant.”

Prioletti Consultants Pty Ltd


“This is a three-phased project which aims to work with two Local Government Authorities (LGA) to design and implement a replicable model of recruitment, support and employment of adults with intellectual disability, focusing on those who may not be eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES) support. 

  • Phase 1 involves designing three employment opportunities per LGA.
  • Phase 2 involves recruiting the employees and providing the employer with relevant training and support. 
  • Phase 3 involves producing a report outlining recommendations and scalability options.

In addition, a toolbox of resources (including a self-assessment kit for LGAs, a Why Employ Me booklet, a Recruitment and Retention Guideand What do I need to know?booklet including legal and compliance issues) will be developed and made available to all LGAs.”

SBH Queensland Inc.


“This project involves engaging an Employment Manager and eight peer mentors to each facilitate up to 12 individuals with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SBH). The individuals with SBH will receive individualised support and the knowledge and skills to achieve sustainable employment. Community and mainstream services will have access to SBH employment resources, including fact sheets, resources, procedures and systems recommendations to enable the sustainable employment of people with SBH.”

The Onemda Association Inc.


“The Steps to Employment Program will address the barriers for employment by targeting young people with intellectual disability while they are still at school. This pilot project will deliver workshops in eight schools teaching essential employability skills for securing and maintaining a job, and collaborate with schools, students, and Disability Employment Services (DES) providers to get more students employed in part-time/casual work while they are at school. The project will also create learning support teams comprising teachers, family and carers, DES providers and specialist therapists to create tailored learning profiles for students leaving school.”

Multiple Sclerosis Limited


“This project aims to create self-directed learning packages to provide people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in rural/remote areas access to employment support. 

This is a multi-phase pilot project consisting of: 

  • Phase 1: Design and production of materials 
  • Phase 2: Feedback from pilot group and refinement of materials
  • Phase 3: Distribution and promotion.

The job seeker learning packages will be available both online and in hard copy, and will include MS information, support groups via video conference, webinars and telephone support. The employer learning packages developed online and in hard copy will include information about employing people with MS. Initial employers targeted will be ones already connected to MS, though this will steadily expand.”

A surprising number of projects focus on media production

Brain Injury Association of Tasmania Inc.


“Explaining disability and how it may impact a person’s ability to perform a role can be confronting or distressing, particularly as this is often coupled with discrimination or judgement.

This project will support and empower people with disability seeking employment to tell their story their way. It will work with individuals with disability to develop disclosure tools and a disclosure strategy. It will incorporate training for people with disability, and pilot different disclosure methods (e.g. video, verbal and written) with individuals and potential employers. For people with disability, individualised disclosure ‘tools’ provide personalised rather than generic information, reinforcing that every person with disability is an individual.”

The Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association of South Australia Incorporated


“This project involves the creation of a specialist Vocational Program that will employ a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor to provide early intervention programs to people who have sustained a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). The Counsellor will engage with individuals with SCI, providing a collaborative approach to career practice by identifying intrinsic factors which influence the outcome of a return to existing, modified or new paid employment. The Counsellor will utilise a Work and SCI online information package developed and piloted by PQSA in collaboration with the University of Adelaide.”

EMU Services Ltd


“This project aims to bring together employers and individuals with disability to improve employment placements, raise community acceptance of people with disabilities, open employment pathways for individuals, and support disability inclusion.To achieve these aims, the organisation will identify employers and bring them together to form an Employer Disability Inclusion Network exploring employment opportunities, developing strategies to employ people with disabilities and offering vacancies to work-ready people with disability. Small to medium businesses will be supported to develop a Disability Inclusion Plan including recruitment, mentoring and support processes.”

The New South Wales Council for Intellectual Disability


“The Councils Can project will work with one remote, two regional and two metropolitan councils to develop their knowledge, capabilities and skills to employ and sustain the employment of people with intellectual disability.

This project has a number of elements, all aimed at increasing the employment and retention of people with intellectual disability in Local Government, including the availability to councils of expertise in inclusion, Easy Read and the employment/support of people with intellectual disability.

The project will deliver inclusive workshops for staff at the participating councils, examining ways councils can remove barriers to employment of people with intellectual disability, including a review of the advertising/application/interview process. It will also focus on skills to retain employees with intellectual disabilities.The project will additionally undertake a strengths/deficits based Inclusion Audit focusing on the council’s employment practices, identifying short/long-term targets, training and resources.”

Inner Northern Local Learning And Employment Network Incorporated


“The aim of this pilot program is to establish a practical, place-based model that can be applied to any special school or TAFE in Australia.

The pilot will be delivered across three schools: two special schools – Croxton School and Concord School – and Melbourne Polytechnic, which offers work education for students with intellectual disabilities.

It will deliver a series of five half-day workshops for teaching staff to hone their skills, giving them the knowledge to deliver an effective entrepreneurship program to students with disabilities. INLLEN will support the schools to deliver a six-month program in the first half of 2020, including hands-on experience to start and operate a business as well as managing an existing enterprise. During the Program, students will gain individual, ongoing support from entrepreneur mentors, sourced by the Two Square Pegs social enterprise group.”

The Y-House Foundation INC.


“The Y-Work program will seek to locate and document as many young people living in aged care in Victoria as possible.

The pilot will directly and immediately benefit 20 young Victorians and locate a further 500 young people living in aged care.

We will work with individuals wanting to access employment to assess their skills and develop individualised strategies for work. We will then also work with employers to foster inclusion in the workplace and develop innovative strategies for accessibility and support.The pilot project offers continuity of support, from the time the young person is first identified and their location documented, through to the process of assessment of skills, strategies to improve access to employment, working with an employer to build capacity, linking an employee to an employer, supporting orientation and employment commencement, and ongoing support for both parties.”

Youth Disability Advocacy Network Inc.


“UNLEASHED enables Young People with Disability (YPWD) to build their individual capacity to participate in the economy and benefit from employment. This is delivered via four key elements:

  1. A two-day training program focused on developing the necessary skills to operate successfully as a prospective employee/entrepreneur
  2. A showcase event, where the YPWD will ‘graduate’ and showcase their skills to friends, family and potential clients (i.e. Government, community organisations and businesses) with opportunities for mentor relationships and employment networks
  3. YPWD acquiring self-employment, through YDAN facilitating a booking and payment process and administration of their professional speaking engagements
  4. A resource for employers on barriers YPWD face in employment and proposed solutions.”

Xceptional Testing Pty. Ltd.


“The aim of this project is to deliver employer readiness, manager coaching and employee support to three employers (two in NSW, one in VIC) to support their efforts to hire and retain employees with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The project will result in the recruitment and placement of 20 individuals with ASD into Information and Communications Technology (ICT) roles with these employers, and ensure that these employers develop their internal capabilities to hire and retain more employees with ASD in the future.XPAP will include auditing corporate readiness for employing individuals with ASD, supporting change management, coaching line managers, supporting HR business partners, and providing ongoing coaching and support to candidates.”

Blind Citizens Australia


“Over a 12-month period, this project will involve working with employers and potential employees concurrently, culminating in an Employer Symposium and launch of a work placement program bringing together HR Managers and Recruitment Consultants alongside work-ready candidates who are blind/vision-impaired.

This event will also provide resources developed for employers around recruitment, accessibility, job modifications for people who are blind/vision impaired, demonstrations of adaptive and assistive technologies, first-hand experiences from current employees who are blind/vision impaired, and facilitated networking between job seekers who are blind/vision impaired and employers.To prepare the job seekers, we will build an accessible online platform to develop job-ready skills specific to people who are blind/vision impaired. Alongside this will be a virtual job-seeking community who can discuss the challenges, share experiences and provide support to one another – with moderators who have a lived experience.”



“School leavers with moderate intellectual disability tend to have low expectations of their employment prospects.

The Jobsupport project will promote employment as an option to special school and high school students in Melbourne and Brisbane with a moderate intellectual disability.

The project will assess each student to identify the barriers preventing them from accessing the School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program and open employment. It will provide work experience in customised jobs with systematic onsite training.

The project will work with 2019 school leavers between July and December 2019 and 2020 school leavers between January and June 2020.”

Community Solutions Group Ltd


“The Regional Advantageproject is a 12-month pilot that aims to highlight the commercial benefits and other advantages of hiring people with disability.

It aims to achieve this by activating an initial group of influencers and employers in three regional areas in Queensland who will be intensively supported and equipped to change their approach to the recruitment of people with disability.

The group will act as a network of practice and be educated and empowered to share information within their sphere of influence, growing the network organically and creating new advocates.

Information will be delivered through a series of coordinated events, supported by promotional and educational videos, which will be the key tool for information-sharing and enable business leaders to disseminate information throughout their networks.Employers who engage with the program will also receive support from Employer Mentors to critically review and profile their business operations to identify job roles and recurring tasks that could be suitable for people with disability.”

Oak Tasmania


“The Oak Enterprises’ Customised Employment Pilot Project will employ a Project Leader and Two Job Developer/Employer Supports to develop, run and evaluate a customised employment (CE) Pilot Project sustainable within the NDIS framework.

The Pilot Project will provide train-the-trainer education/training on a customised employment (CE) approach, and following the 12-month timeframe will share experiences with the broader Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) sector by disseminating outcomes and business models/approaches.OE will share the ideas, information and training opportunities made available through the project with participants/families, education providers, employers and service providers.”

Young Women’s Christian Association of Australia


“The YWCA aims to expand its Y Connect program, which seeks to empower women living with disability to progress their goals for employment and career development.

This free program comprises network building, mentoring and specialised workshops that build participants’ knowledge, confidence and use of their personal strengths. Y Connect assists participants in setting meaningful career goals, building their professional identity, expanding networks and developing confidence, whilst engaging with a mainstream women’s organisation.Participants are involved in masterclasses and professional development to build skills and knowledge in key areas relevant to their goals. Participants also have the option of being matched with a mentor (female industry professional) for ongoing one-on-one mentoring and network building.”

YMCA of South Australia Youth and Family Services Incorporated


“The YES project aims to review and change YMCA SA’s recruitment and training methods, building on the organisation’s current Leap programs for people with disability who have employment goals.

Leap supports young people to develop independent living and social skills. Twelve people from Leap between the ages of 15 and 30 who have an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder will be targeted.

The project will recruit an experienced employment leader and two volunteers with disability to guide the development of recruitment and delivery of training processes for specific roles.The project will target 12 jobs across SA where YMCA provide services, which will include the Lower North and Fleurieu Regions.”

Autism Queensland Limited


“Autism EmployABLE is an innovative project engaging with Australian businesses to: 1) build awareness of the positive attributes of employees on the autism spectrum 2) develop their capacity to successfully employ them.

The pilot project will develop a model incorporating evidence-based autism-specific approaches that will be rolled out in collaboration with disability employment services nationally. Brisbane City Council and White’s IGA stores (Sunshine Coast) have provided written expressions of interest in partnering with AQ for the pilot.

Core project components include: 

  1. training to assist businesses to understand the strengths and challenges of people on the spectrum, and appropriate workplace accommodations 
  2. autism-specific audits to identify suitable positions and workplace accommodations 
  3. on-the-job autism-specific coaching for employees on the spectrum that will in turn inform future training for businesses and workplace accommodations. 

Unique autism-specific features of this model will include the use of evidence-based practices such as Structured Teaching, Video Modelling, Social Narratives and workplace social skills development.”

Employment Options Inc.


“The BizAbility Program involves the design and delivery of 14 individual programs to help people with disability explore entrepreneurship as a pathway to achieving self-employment. 

Participants and their families/caregivers can access one program, which will cater for up to 8 participants (plus families/caregivers) and will be delivered in twice-weekly 3-hour sessions over 5 weeks.

Alternatives to face-to-face delivery will be available, including use of technology (live-streaming and webinars) and visits by a mobile service.

Staffing will comprise of a Manager to oversee the implementation and delivery of the program as well as a Facilitator and Mentor engaged in service delivery.

The program will use human-centred design (HCD) methodology to assist participants to identify an idea for self-employment matched to their abilities and circumstances, test assumptions and create an action plan to achieve self-employment using the 5 core modules of Design Thinking: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.Throughout the program, participants will have access to a mentor for individual support and assistance. A community will also be developed where they can share their experiences for the benefit of others and hear from entrepreneurs with lived disability experience.”

University Of Sydney


“The project will produce the first documented research evidence in Australia for implementing Workplace Change, Implementation and Evaluation Plans (WCIEP) to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in employment. It will be undertaken via a partnership between the University of Sydney, Toll Group, Macquarie University and ASPECT who will conduct a two armed approach:

Arm 1: Workplace evaluation and change:

  • Conduct a feasibility and implementation review to understand workplace needs, possible barriers to sustained employment, and identification of safe and diverse fully paid workplace roles with career development pathways. 
  • Implement workplace change strategies, co-designed with community members, to support individuals with ASD to deliver inclusive workplace practices.

Arm 2: Individual profiling and a Cohort Evaluation of Employment and Wellbeing to:

Evaluate strengths of individuals with ASD and to use cognitive profiles to identify roles that will likely result in successful outcomes for the individual and employer, while supporting areas of documented weakness to improve sustainability.Place 15 individuals with ASD into paid full-time positions, based on their cognitive profiles and interests. “

Holmesglen Institute


“The Integrated Practical Placement (IPP) Program is a structured study program for students with learning or intellectual disability, who are placed with an employer in partnership with a learning institution to be given the opportunity to develop the required work-related skills with the desired outcome of transitioning students into paid employment at the end of the program. 

Funding will be used to

  1. Employ a Project Manager who will be responsible for coordinating the IPP Program and overseeing its expansion into other departments at Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and other businesses. The Project Manager will be responsible for expanding the program into at least one other large business in 2020/2021.
  2. Test the validity and reliability of the “Work Skills Assessment” (WSA) tool developed during the 2018 implementation of the IPP program. The WSA included two assessment tools
  • The Student Work Skills Assessment tool
  • The Supervisor Work Skills Assessment tool”

People With disabilities (WA) Inc


“This initiative builds on the success of the current Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Diversity Field Officer (DFO) project which is funded until June 2019.

This project will continue the service after June 2019 and expand the DFO Service to more Metropolitan businesses and to the South West of WA with a focus on tourism, recreation and hospitality industries. To implement the DFO service, PWdWA and Advocacy WA would both employ a DFO officer. The role of the DFOs would be to provide one-to-one customised support to 60 small-to-medium businesses in WA (30 in South West, 30 in metropolitan and Wheatbelt areas), to build their confidence in helping create employment opportunities for people with disabilities through various strategies including provision of tailored recommendations to improve accessibility (including physical accessibility), customer considerations and information access, and connecting businesses to local DES and disability support services who can support their objectives.”

Hawthorn Football Club Limited


“The program is a three-part initiative which aims to leverage the significant public face of AFL and the Hawthorn Football Club to gain significant awareness of the value and contribution of people with disability within the workplace.

The first part of the program develops the internal environment to make it more suitable and inclusive for people with disability, e.g. staff training on employing and working with people with disability.

The program also introduces a traineeship initiative which involves having people with disability working at the organisation across all departments, at least one day per week for a period of time, where they will be exposed to new experiences and gain new learnings. The club will also assist the trainees with mock job interviews, job applications and various scenarios to prepare them for the workplace.

Finally, the program includes the introduction of new roles within the club for people with disability, including a Social Inclusion Ambassador. A key element of this program will be a significant marketing campaign which will highlight the initiatives through the club’s media channels and through external media networks. “

Will the power of Football create economic opportunity for people with disability?

Healthy Group Of Companies Pty Ltd.


“The Healthy Social Care Collective’s Rapid Enterprise Development (RED) Program assists people with disabilities and those who support them to develop self-employment and small business opportunities.

The project will continue the development of a consortia of established NDIS-registered disability providers, New Enterprise Incentive Scheme operators, and allied health to build entrepreneurship from within the disability community.

The program will shape NDIS plans to realise the enterprise ambitions of people with disability. Rather than paying a Care Assistant to assist with daytime activities, individuals can engage an Enterprise Support Worker to help build their business (and provide their personal support). RED will be the link between supported self-employment and Individual NDIS Budgets.

The project will deliver a series of interventions which address specific barriers, including:

  • provision of accessible enterprise incubation space and support, including accessible RED Workshops and business planning tools
  • enterprise training for support workers
  • establishment of an enterprise co-operative (forum) of entrepreneurs with disability
  • establishment of a collective ‘back office’ function (book-keeping, tax, etc), so people with disabilities can get on with the job at hand
  • website development.”

Attitude Foundation Limited


“This project involves the production of a three-part documentary television series which will broadcast on national free-to-air television.

By engaging the audience in compelling stories, the series aims to increase the public’s awareness of the barriers people with disability encounter when navigating employment. Additionally, the series will challenge the pre-existing assumptions and attitudes towards people with disability in the workplace and viewers will gain insight into the social and economic benefits of inclusive work environments.

The series will also increase capacity with media industry employers through the following outputs

  1. Case studies containing information that media industry employers can use when hiring and supporting a person with disability or developing a diversity program
  2. A complementary web-based resource portal to build the capacity of production and media companies to attract, employ and retain people with disability.”

Bridging The Gap Inc


“The aim of this project is to run a workshop-style learning program which involves the participants building 36 cubby houses over a 12-month period in an outdoor hands-on learning environment. The project will cater for varying skill levels in basic woodworking and construction where language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) will naturally form a part of the training. These skills will be applied to the project work to make them real and relevant. The project will deliver basic construction skills, employability skills, LLN skills and sustainable employment for 36 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people with disabilities over a 12-month period.

The project will employ seven staff members, consisting of two vocational trainers/supervisors, all of whom have trades qualifications/backgrounds and experience with providing hands-on training to ATSI participants. There will be an Employment Coach, two ATSI Mentors, a Project Manager and an Admin Officer.

The two ATSI mentors will be employed on a full-time basis to work alongside the Trainers and to ensure participants feel safe in the learning environment, are engaged, and are moving forward with their skills and abilities.Soft skills, employability skills and job search skills will be embedded into the project so that the overall objective of sustainable employment or business enterprise will be achieved.  An Employment Coach will network with medium-to-large employers to help them achieve their Diversity and Inclusion objectives. “

Limestone Coast Work Options Incorporated


“This project aims to develop and run a workshop style learning ‘Skills for Work’ program. The ‘Skills for Work’ program will help participants and their families bridge the social and cognitive barriers between supported employment and day options programs, and meaningful employment.

Over the course of 12 months, this course will be delivered to two groups of six people, for the duration of two school terms each.Course content will include ‘Career Planning’ i.e. identifying skills/strengths – both those that are inherent and those that need to be developed, and the basic skills required of all jobs such as ‘Rights & Responsibilities’ in the Workplace, ‘Communication’, ‘Literacy & Numeracy/Digital Numeracy’ ‘Organisation & Time Management’ and ‘Team Work’.”

La Trobe University


“This project involves the development and evaluation of an innovative, evidence-based training package for Disability Employment Service (DES) providers to improve their capacity to cater to the unique needs of job seekers on the autism spectrum, to increase their prospects of securing and retaining suitable employment. 

This involves: 

  1. undertaking a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) with DES providers and triangulating these data with information from people on the autism spectrum and their family members to determine the barriers and enablers in successfully placing and retaining them in the workplace. 
  2. co-producing a training package with people on the autism spectrum (employed and unemployed) and DES professionals (from both urban/rural DESs) to enhance knowledge and understanding of job seekers on the autism spectrum and their workplace requirements.
  3. delivering the training to DES staff in one urban and one rural DES.
  4. evaluating the training package pre- and immediately post- delivery, and three months later to determine whether:
    • knowledge, understanding and confidence regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders and placing job seekers have improved
    • at three months, outcomes for these clients have improved.
  5. producing a report on the training package and evaluation following project completion, incorporating next steps for dissemination and utilisation.”

VALID – The Victorian Advocacy League For Individuals With Disability Inc.


“The VALID Growing Employer Demand (GED) project will be delivered using the organisation’s proven Community of Practice (CoP) model. Experts in the field will be brought together, including people with disability, to develop systems that enable other businesses to replicate their success.

  • Step 1 involves tackling difficult questions honestly and straightforwardly. A CoP of experienced managers and current employees with disability will work together to identify best practice measurables on employee development and retention. 
  • Step 2 will systematise and document learnings for others to use.
  • Step 3 pilots scalability by implementing the CoP at LaunchPad. VALID will mentor and encourage peer employers to find innovative ways to job-carve or share supports for employees with disability.

The project will be piloted in Victoria and the resulting resources made available Australia-wide via Inclusion Australia (NCID) and Disability Advocacy Network Australia.”

Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT


“This project involves developing a comprehensive business case for a new social enterprise – Anglicare SustainAbility Enterprises (ASE). The proposal would include significant enterprise investment in setting up supported employment enterprise activities to service the organisation’s existing business portfolios.

Initially, the Anglicare Retail portfolio would implement a pilot of the social enterprise model, offering training and employment opportunities to their existing disability services clients in the op shops and recycling centre. It is anticipated that the Retail pilot program will provide training and employment opportunities to about 10 current disability clients registered under the NDIS in the 12-month period of the grant. The plan would be to expand the number and range of training and employment opportunities to other areas of Anglicare business and competitive business markets as a working business model is established. A key principle of the social enterprise model would be to reinvest any profits into further training and employment opportunities for people living with disabilities. “

N T Industry Training Bureau


“The Career Launchpad service will provide one-on-one, specialised career coaching and vocational support for young people with disability in their transition from school into the world of work. 12 months of servicing will be offered to between 15 and 20 young people who are transitioning out of either Year 11 or Year 12 mainstream schooling in the Darwin region and who are referred by the NT Government’s Transition from School Team (TST).

Outcomes for participants will include:

  • a demonstrated improvement in their personal, social and practical employability skills 
  • consolidation of these skills through a supported work placement 
  • an informed and robust final Co-Designed Plan that will assist young people and their families to understand and access the services and supports that will help them achieve employment. “

Fighting Chance Australia Limited


“This project involves working with the NDIA to link Jigsaw’s job-ready employees and trainees with employment opportunities in mainstream businesses in Sydney, through a combination of place-based training within Jigsaw, outreach to build a network of partners, and capacity building for employers. 

The project will involve the following activities: 

  • Supporting the development of a pipeline of job-ready candidates within Jigsaw through a 6-12 month on-site program, supporting a minimum of 30 non-NDIS-funded job seekers with disability to attain job skills in Jigsaw’s thriving business environment.
  • To develop Jigsaw’s network of partner organisations, with whom they can work to create transitional pathways from Jigsaw to the mainstream.
  • To work with this network of partners to transition a minimum of 20 job seekers to mainstream employment in FY20.”

Vietnamese Community in Australia/South Australia Chapter Incorporated


“The project aims to enhance the capacity and opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people with disability to participate in the workforce and contribute to their community. The project goals are to improve the employment opportunities for people with disability by motivating business organisations to realise the potential of this untapped resource. 

This project will do this by delivering three key activities: 

  1. Improving their own organisation’s capacity so that it can better motivate and manage the employment of people with disability.
  2. Developing (through consultation with CALD communities) appropriate community education programs that address stigma issues related to disabilities and the cultural beliefs that could prevent a person with disability to enter the employment market. It is hoped that attitudinal change occurs, encouraging individuals, families and the community to be more open-minded on the capacity of people with disability to engage in the workforce and contribute to economic growth.
  3. Developing a placement training program for CALD people with disability where they can develop the skills and knowledge that would enhance their employment opportunities. This activity entails networking with local businesses and services, developing and expanding the VCASA’s social enterprise projects which offer work experience opportunities for participants, and developing the buddy/mentor system to assist participants in enhancing learning skills.”

Inclusion Australia (NCID) Limited


“As institutions close, influencing family attitudes has been identified as the most effective change management strategy. Well-meaning families and carers often do not encourage PwID to participate in the workforce given the desire to keep their loved ones safe and manage their expectations, not to mention the difficulties in navigating the complex interface involved in getting PwID into the workforce. Bringing PwID and families/carers together with peers who have achieved community inclusion will help counter this resistance.

As such, this project will deliver a dedicated plain-language, accessible online portal that brings together key employment pathway information, data and research, and presenting them from a person-first perspective. Workshops based on these information products will be delivered by trainers, including people with intellectual disability (PwID). 

The anticipated outcomes of this project are that other PwID will want the benefits of employment while families learn how it can be done. Inclusion Australia (IA), Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA) and their members across Australia will hold workshops and events that bring together PwID in open employment and their families with peers looking to achieve the same success. People will disability will have greater opportunities to access and pursue open employment through the increased support and information available from families and other supporters.”

Rehab Management (Aust) Pty Ltd


“BusyBeans Café is a social enterprise initiative offered by Rehab Management (RM) that promotes community participation for people with a moderate intellectual disability, or who are on the Autism spectrum, by providing work experience opportunities with supportive businesses.

Participants will receive barista, job readiness and customer service training delivered by qualified barista trainers at ‘coffee schools’ across Australia. Once training is completed and the participants have achieved minimum quality standards, they will be placed with partnering businesses for paid work experience. These businesses will be screened as being disability inclusive.

Support workers will accompany participants for as long as required to ease their transition into work experience.

This project will empower participants and build their confidence and resilience by providing them work experience in safe, supportive environments. The skills they acquire will be transferrable for future employment.

Employers will also benefit from promoting a more inclusive environment, allowing them to offer more opportunities to attract, employ and retain people with disability.On a wider scale, this project will boost social inclusion of people with disability, which benefits society as a whole.”

Greater Bendigo City Council


“The Inclusive Towns Project delivered by the City of Greater Bendigo (CoGB) in 2018 showed that employers were unsure of how to go about employing people with disability, and unaware that services existed that could support them to employ people with disability.

In response to these findings, the project “Champions for Change” will deliver three outcomes across the CoGB, Mount Alexander Shire and Loddon Shire within a 12 month timeframe by: 

  1. Employing 12 people with disability as Support Officers to champion inclusive employment to local businesses, guided by three project officers with lived experience of disability 
  2. Building on the Inclusive Towns model to focus on inclusive employment
  3. Trialling the project as a nationally scalable model.

The project will also involve meeting with small-to-medium business owners to discuss inclusion, gauge their interest in inclusive employment and inform them of approaches to employing people with disability.The project will reap many benefits, including providing 12-15 jobs in local government for people with disability, increasing their employment opportunities across three LGAs and increasing employers’ willingness and ability to employ people with disability.”

Flourish – Mental Health Action in our Hands Inc.


“The project will increase mental health awareness and create Mental Health Peer Support Officers in Tasmanian workplaces so that they can attract and retain people with psycho-social disability.

This project is unique in that every stage will be co-designed/co-delivered by individuals with a lived experience of mental ill-health and recovery. Researchers and expert practitioners agree that this is a powerful change management tool to shift individuals and workplaces towards greater understanding and more inclusive, supportive attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.”

National Retail Association Limited


“This project aims to provide accessible and comprehensive information for retail employers, enabling easier decision-making when considering employing a person with disability. This is to address the fact that while the majority of Australian retail businesses are open to hiring people with disability, a much lower percentage are currently doing so.

Ready and Able will become a ‘one-stop shop’ and support service for retailers. Education and training materials will be developed about employing workers with disability, and the support resources will include: case studies – downloadable fact sheets highlighting information to guide employers on the best practice ways to understand and manage their obligations with respect to work health and safety webinars, and practical information about financial incentives, such as wage subsidies for employers who hire a person with disability.”

The Flagstaff Group Limited


“Disability Inclusion Discovery is a corporate awareness program aimed at encouraging organisations to embrace people with disability on their staff teams as well as customers. The program works one-on-one with an organisation to look at promoting inclusion within the organisation’s internal workforce as well as externally enabling high accessibility for customers both physically and online. It has a number of modules that a company can choose to explore and will be delivered by an industry educator and a person with disability to ensure they get an understanding of both sides.

The project will be piloted with 12 organisations covering different industries in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. The pilot will be led by a team of people including people with various disabilities. The pilot will provide feedback from participants on how to improve the program and deliver it in the future.”

Victorian Deaf Society


“People who are deaf and hard of hearing are significantly underrepresented in the Australian workforce despite increased levels of educational attainment. Employer engagement strategies have so far been ineffective. 

The aim of this project is to develop simple and effective video resources to target the small business sector. Small and medium-size enterprises (SME) comprise 90% of businesses, making them a key source of employment. However, SMEs state they are time poor, lack formal HR processes typically found in larger businesses, and have concerns around perceived ethical, legal, and OHS risks associated with employing people with hearing loss. 

The project will address these gaps in knowledge and help make the path to employing people with hearing loss smoother for SMEs. Short, impactful, and contemporary online video resources will be developed, utilising the power of storytelling. The resources will also offer practical solutions to address OHS concerns, highlight assistive technology and showcase deaf talent and industry advocates. “

WISE Employment Ltd


“This project will build the capacity of employers to be receptive to recruitment and support of employees with psychosocial disability.

The project will engage suitable employers who have committed to mental health capacity-building training for management and staff, identification of roles and tasks suitable for people with psychosocial disability, provision of work experience and employment, and linkage with local Disability Employment Services (DES) to support clients with psychosocial disability. Engaged employers will then be encouraged to become Ambassadors for the program, promoting it to other employers through local business networks. 

The project will be undertaken in the South-East Region of Melbourne, focused primarily on the LGAs of Casey and Cardinia. The outcomes will include: 

  • a network of 20-25 engaged employers willing, able, and equipped to provide sustainable jobs to people with psychosocial disability
  • improved access to sustainable employment for people with psychosocial disability
  • improved awareness and understanding of this program of support by other local businesses, through the role of engaged employers as Ambassadors
  • a model for replication.”

Brite Services


“The Brike Project (TBP) is an industry partnership (comprising Brite, RMIT and North Link) developing new and sustainable employment opportunities for people with disability. 

Over the last two years, the partners have been working together to bring to market an assistive technology product built by people with disability, i.e. the ‘Brike’ – a 3-wheel electric push bike with wheelchair passenger access.

The partners will manufacture the product in Melbourne’s North, with Brite employing people with disability to assemble and service the Brikes. All employees will receive industry-accredited bicycle mechanic training. This will open up career doors in bike mechanics through employment in local bicycle shops.  “

Imagine More Ltd


“Imagine More’s project based in the ACT aims to highlight bespoke approaches to discovering meaningful open employment for young people with disability using their networks, connections and champions.

Three videos will be produced and a one day ‘Getting a Real Job’ conference will be held. All conference presentations will demonstrate how to work ‘one person at a time’ to connect young people with disability into genuine work roles in open employment. The employment videos will include the perspectives of the people with disability, their family, workplace champions and job mentors to document how they all contributed to carving meaningful work roles for three young men.

The Canberra conference will present stories from PWD that include: 

  • different approaches in identifying a person’s strengths, interests and attributes;
  • detailed information captured during work experience that can translate into paid work roles;
  • the role of workplace champions 
  • the role of the family/circle of support
  • establishing and safeguarding microenterprise”

Belonging Matters Inc.


“This project will work with a number of Australian service organisations, such as Rotary, to adapt and replicate a successful Canadian model, The Inclusion Alberta/Rotary Partnership, to support people with developmental disabilities and their families to create employment opportunities.

The underlying principle is that service organisations can play a significant role in promoting employment of people with intellectual disabilities, given that they are a recognised and respected voice in the community, have shared values, and their membership base is largely business owners and employers. Service clubs also have wide geographical reach.

In year 1 of the project, two founding members from the Canadian project will travel to Australia to work with Belonging Matters to adapt the partnership model for the Australian context. This will include running a series of events for service clubs in Melbourne and establishing working relationships with senior representatives from organisations such as Rotary.A process evaluation will be undertaken which will document how the partnership model was developed so that it can be utilised to establish and trial the model in other areas.”

Municipal Association Of Victoria


“Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is the peak body representing all 79 councils in Victoria.

This project will fund 10 councils to plan and implement work experience programs for people with disabilities using different models. MAV will allocate funds to selected councils to contribute to costs of staff time, organisational training and support from the disability employment sector. Councils will deliver disability work experience programs, building the disability-confidence of managers and staff. An added benefit is the project also provides a pathway to paid employment for an estimated 50 participants. 

Independent evaluation/research will be conducted throughout the project, with a Project Report to detail the successful elements and the challenges of each program delivered using different models. This Report will be used to inform other councils about implementing a successful work experience program.”

Darwin Community Arts Incorporated


“This pilot initiative will work with a select team of 6 artists with disability over 6 months (a 3-hour workshop/week) to develop a suite of artworks appropriate for installation in public spaces. The project will take participants through all aspects of the development of a public art project, including a workshop with professional artists, structured sessions with designer/s and fabricator/s to appropriately interpret and translate their artwork into another medium, and real work experience of delivering a large-scale arts project through to completion for local government. 

Artists involved in this supported program will work as paid artists and have the unique opportunity to see their creative ideas develop into quality works for the broader community to experience.”

Back to Back Theatre Inc. 


“An innovative workplace placement scheme of paid TV Internships will connect Back to Back Theatre (B2B) with mainstream employers through a partnership with Matchbox Pictures, ABC TV, Film Victoria, Screen Australia and the City of Greater Geelong with Deakin University as Research & Evaluation Partner.In addition to employing lead and supporting actors with disability in the creation of the 6-part TV Series ODDLANDS, B2B will embed up to nine paid internships for people with disability in the production and TV shoot in Geelong in the first half of 2020. “

Bus Stop Films Ltd


“This project will create a unique screen industry-focused training package for production companies and industry services (Camera/Sound Equipment Hire, Hair and Make Up etc.) to better skill them in understanding how people with disability can be employed within their organisations.

The project will develop a face-to-face training package to be delivered by facilitators who are both allies and people with lived experience and who have worked in the screen industry e.g. writing, directing and producing or acting in screen content. The package will also be supported by a suite of online resources and link into an Inclusive Filmmaking Kit. It will be delivered through a pilot program to production companies in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Further through the delivery of the package, facilitators will work with the production companies to identify opportunities for employment of people with disability in their production slate.”

G-Force Recruitment Ltd


“This project will offer an introduction to the benefits for workplaces in employing people they may not have previously considered. A series of workshops will be delivered across five sites in Western Victoria where presenters can give an update from both the employee’s and employer’s perspective.

A range of businesses will be included – large, small, for-profit, not-for-profit – to ensure a diverse array of employers are represented. Speakers will include employers and people who have been employed under a disability employment scheme”

G-Force (above) received one of the smallest grants at $21,450

Tutti Arts Incorporated


“Stand and Deliver is a two-stage project aimed at supporting artists with intellectual and learning disabilities to secure work opportunities in a way which educates employers, opening doors to paid work.

  • Stage One involves professional leadership coaches researching and designing presentations with artists which reveal their skills to potential employers.
  • Stage Two involves actively supporting the artists to stand and deliver their work in a confident, communicative way that demonstrates their employability.

Over a year, the program will involve 40 artists.”

National LGBTI Health Alliance


“The National LGBTI Health Alliance (Alliance) will work in partnership with a network of LGBTI people living with disability and Disability Employment Australia to undertake a scoping exercise amongst the Alliance’s member organisations to map and explore: 

  • the current employment of LGBTI people with disability within the Alliance’s membership 
  • organisations with policy and processes to support the employment of people with disability (including a policy review)
  • a needs assessment to understand what LGBTI health organisations require to be able to employ people with disability
  • a community assessment of LGBTI people with disability to understand what types of roles people are seeking.

The project will produce a report of the scoping and mapping exercises with a series of recommendations to the LGBTI sector in relation to the employment of people with disability. A tool kit will also be produced that will include a suite of policy templates and example policies, tip sheets and good practice examples for members and the sector.

The report and toolkit will be launched at a day event that will focus on employing LGBTI people with disability in LGBTI health organisations.The project will be co-designed with an advisory committee to oversee the delivery of the project.”

Julia Farr Association Incorporated


“The Industry-Specific Disability Employment Program is a one-year program aimed at building the capacity and capability of South Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide employment opportunities for people with disability. The program will involve the establishment of at least three industry-specific Communities of Practice (’CoP’) to develop actions and targets to increase employment outcomes for people living with disability.

These groups will meet at least three times over the course of the program. At the core of this program will be the role of Industry Champions and Industry Disability Representatives. Industry Champions will be responsible for leveraging their industry leadership and professional influence to actively promote disability employment to peers in their industry. The Industry Disability Representatives will be people living with disability already employed in the specific industry. The program will be overseen by a Steering Group comprising people living with disability, family, and other relevant stakeholders. The Steering group will undertake governance and co-design work.

The program will be supported by a Project Manager at JFA Purple Orange, responsible for overall program management, including support and guidance to industry representatives, and administrative support to the CoP and Steering Group. The Project Manager will facilitate collaboration across CoPs so they learn from and support each other’s practice.”

The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (Q.)


“This project will deliver a feasibility plan and road map for the creation of a technology hub social enterprise in Brisbane that offers employment opportunities to young people with a physical disability (high and complex) who are seeking a technology-focused career.

It is envisaged employees will be able to undertake relevant training, e.g. a Cert II/III in Digital Media and Technology while gaining work skills, through providing flat-fee, no-frills web-based services, such as media monitoring services for small not-for-profits (NFPS)/small businesses and back-end support for small businesses or NFPs selling goods and services online. With their business and work-related skills, training and experience, young people may choose to work within the TechHub itself, work from home with outsourced work from TechHub, set up their own business, move to employment with a mainstream employer, or a combination of all four options.

The TechHub will test the possibility of enabling people with disabilities to ‘mix and match’ their employment options, to help ensure they do not lose employment or training opportunities because they cannot attend a dedicated workplace every day.”

Australian Football League


“The AFL’s purpose is ‘to progress the game so that everyone can benefit from its heritage and possibilities’.
To ensure we are continuing to strive to meet the expectations of the disability community, the AFL is engaging in the writing of a Disability Action Plan across 2019.

This project will create a snapshot of the current landscape through an extensive audit of the AFL industry including (but not limited to):

  • current number of people with disabilities employed (full time, part time, casual & volunteer positions)
  • roles in the industry that could meaningfully be fulfilled by a person with disability
  • barriers to employment
  • success stories.

When referring to the ‘AFL Industry’, the audit will include (but not be limited to):

  • AFL Offices (National, State/Territory & Regional)
  • AFL Clubs 
  • Second Tier Clubs (VFL, SANFL, WAFL, NEAFL) 
  • Stadia 
  • AFL Shops. 

Recommendations from the audit will form an integral part of the AFL Disability Action Plan and provide the framework to develop a pathway to employment for people with disability in the AFL industry.”

Valued Lives Foundation


“Valued Lives has delivered a range of peer-led, co-designed, capacity building activities for entrepreneurs living with disability in WA and have opened two inclusive, accessible Microenterprise Hubs.

This project has three components:

  1. to continue the expansion and delivery of peer and business mentoring, workshops, training, and customised micro-enterprise business support initiatives. These activities will be delivered from our current Microenterprise Business Hubs in Applecross and Fremantle;
  2. a feasibility study to fulfil requests for new hubs in Joondalup and Mandurah;
  3. commencing the formal development of a Community of Practice and Resource centre for people with disability, families and practitioners interested in microenterprise and Customised Employment in Australia.

We intend to formalise networks by hosting and delivering two national forums with local partners that will showcase stories of the work of microenterprises across Australia. Concurrent workshops are aimed to gather information from participants to test, shape and establish the development and future activities for a proposed National Microenterprise Network.”

Mental Health Association of Central Australia Inc.


“MHACA received an NT Department of Business Innovation Grant in 2018 to train peer workers.This proposal aims to extend this project by sharing knowledge with others in the sector and offering the opportunity for other people with a psychosocial disability, and specifically Aboriginal people, to develop the skills to become peer workers
This project will provide opportunities for people interested in becoming peer workers to receive training and mentoring. It will also promote and provide management mentoring and training to support the employment of peer workers within other disability organisations providing support to people with psychosocial disability. “

The Trustee for The Salvation Army (Victoria) Property Trust


“The Ability Marketplace is a pilot initiative to establish a multi-vendor pop-up shop model specifically targeted to promote and sell products produced by people with disability.

The Ability Marketplace will bring to market selected products from the widest spectrum of disability individuals and organisations – including selected products produced by Australian Disability Enterprises. The Ability Marketplace will engage disability producers and individuals directly with the public, increasing their exposure to the buying public. The Ability Marketplace will also handle online sales via its multi-vendor marketplace.

Disability vendors will be encouraged to visit the stores, to man and promote their booths, and to display and demonstrate their products.The increased interaction with the public and direct exposure to retail practices will also increase the employ-ability of participating vendors.”

Cronulla-Sutherland District Rugby League Football Club Limited


“The Shark Crew Community Links (SCL) program will be offered free of charge to people with disability to build their capacity through real world experience as they take part (unpaid) in a variety of roles throughout the Cronulla Sharks.

The program will run over 2 x 6 month periods, engaging 10 participants each cycle (20 a year). Participants will complete weekly workshops which will involve preparation for their upcoming roles at the Sharks and also for future jobs. 

The sessions will focus on finding out what the participant’s current interests are and building skills around those interests. The workshops will also involve one-on-one training around resume writing, interview skills, goal setting, decision making and researching jobs to apply for with the newly acquired skills. Participants will gain experience in a professional sporting environment while rotating through various roles over the year to gain a wide range of skills and experience in various settings.”

Able Australia Services


“This two-stage project will build capacity in deafblind people from South Australia and Queensland by developing their skills and opportunities to deliver Deafblind Awareness workshops to local businesses and organisations. Through the delivery of these workshops, participants will also develop their own professional networks and increase their employability and economic participation.

The project will recruit two Project Officers and at least 8 deafblind participants.”

Community Living Assn Inc.


“The Transitioning to Employment Project will work with young people in the Brisbane Metropolitan Area who are transitioning from Child Safety or Youth Justice orders.

The Project will have the following elements: 

  1. Employment preparation through focus on personal skills development for community participation and employment e.g. personal hygiene, using public transport, timeliness to job, rights and responsibilities and on-the-job skills
  2. On-the-job work experience through consortium with Nundah Community Enterprises Co-operative (NCEC). With the support of NCEC, the project will also seek other mainstream work experience placements and NCEC workers with disability will offer mentoring and support to the participants
  3. Individual work strengths assessments through job-skills training, job placement and professional assessments to assist in job placement
  4. Opportunity for participants to explore developing their own microenterprise or new co-op endeavours.”

Inclusion Solutions Limited


“The aim of this project is to continue establishing networks of Rotary Clubs and members who will work with unemployed people with disability to assist and support them to gain real and meaningful mainstream employment.

The funding will be used to build the relationships, further develop a pathway with WA Rotary, and strengthen an existing model that can be replicated throughout WA, such that sustainability is created over the course of the project.

Inclusion Solutions’ role in the project will consist of networking with, and capacity building of, Rotary Clubs in WA. They will be the first point of contact and will help facilitate the relationship between Inclusion WA and WA Rotary.

This will be achieved through the following:

  1. Inclusion Solutions will present within a Rotary Club explaining the processes and the benefits of the project
  2. Inclusion Solutions will liaise with Inclusion WA to connect them with the Rotarian
  3. Inclusion WA, with the assistance of Inclusion Solutions, may help Rotarians assist in finding meaningful employment for people with disabilities through a process called job carving
  4. Inclusion Solutions will deliver training to businesses to make sure they are fully equipped to employ someone with disability”

The Foundation For Young Australians


“$20 Boss is an immersive entrepreneurship program for secondary school students launched in 2014. Students are provided $20 of start-up capital to create, launch and operate their venture over the course of a school term to gain vital entrepreneurial skills and practice running a business.

This project aims to: 

  • adapt this $20 Boss model into a resource for young people with disability. The program will be delivered in class by teachers, and co-designed and led by the students;
  • offer a bespoke professional development opportunity for teachers to increase their confidence and competence to deliver enterprise and entrepreneurial education in a special school setting
  • create a suite of digital storytelling products (video, editorial, audio) to acknowledge the achievements of the students and provide a selected group with the opportunity to share their journeys and experiences of participating in the program.”


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