Inclusion Australia agrees that the income support system should have a stronger employment focus.
An income support system focused on evidence based employment support can significantly increase employment participation and reduce reliance on income support.
To achieve such change requires an examination of our understanding about capacity to work and employment support needs, and how this relates to achieving paid work which reduces pension reliance.
Current programs and policies are out of step with evidence based practice and are not providing youth with intellectual disability with the opportunity to be included in the open labour market.
Our biggest challenge, however, is to address a culture of low expectations about people with intellectual disability and work.
The current pathway of pension, unemployment and alternative programs needs to shift to a pathway of inclusion, work and wages in the open labour market.
To demonstrate this shift in direction, we feature the stories of two young people with significant intellectual disability and the pathway they took to move from school to paid employment in the open labour market.
These stories illustrate that people with intellectual disability have the capacity to work in the open labour market when provided skilled support. This quality support, however, is currently limited to just a few locations.
It is our submission that the welfare review should set a new direction to progressively build evidence based transition-to-work and open employment support on a national scale for people with intellectual disability.
It is possible to progressively change the current low expectations, low work participation and high reliance on the pension, to a culture where inclusion, work and wages is a common part of the lives of all people with intellectual disability.
Download Inclusion Australia’s full submission