NDIS Capacity Building: Finding and Keeping a Job

In 2019, the NDIS Participant Employment Strategy stated that only 24% of NDIS participants of employable age were working at that time. The strategy called for an increase in this rate of employment to 30% by the year 2023 and launched a plan to help Australians with disabilities that wanted to work.

The category, Finding and Keeping a Job, is in the Capacity Building budget of your NDIS plan, and supports your employment and career-building goals. The NDIS provides supplemental study and work supports not found through other mainstream programs or services available to all Australians. If you need extra help as you prepare to enter the workforce due to your disability, the NDIS can help.

The NDIS offers extra help with your employment needs

  • Building basic life and work skills
  • On-the-job training and support for work duties
  • Assistance transitioning from school to advanced study, vocational training, or work
  • Training for your teachers, employers, and coworkers about your disability needs
  • Use of public transportation, alternative commuting, and transportation assistance
  • Occupational therapist assessment of the work environment related to your disability
  • Personal care during work
  • Behavior management or complex needs while at work
  • Assistive devices and equipment modifications related to your disability
  • Aptitude, skills, and employment placement assessments
  • Employment supports not available through Australia’s Job Access or Disability Employment Services (DES)

The NDIS is committed to increasing your employment readiness and providing greater job opportunities for Australians with disabilities. Consider your special needs in the workplace. Determine your long-term and short-term employment goals. Plan your path to success in finding and keeping a job.

What does finding a job mean for you

  • Having a job
  • Going to work
  • Completing your tasks
  • Getting paid
  • Being part of a team
  • Making new friends

Why is keeping a job important

  • Increase your financial independence
  • Improve your health and sense of well-being
  • Boost your self-esteem and confidence
  • Expand your social network
  • Develop new work and life skills

Thinking About Work

You may have special challenges in preparing for a job or finding employment. The NDIS is committed to helping Australians with intellectual disabilities, psychosocial disabilities, significant physical handicaps due to illness or injury, and those on the autism spectrum find and keep a job. It is important to plan your employment pathway into the future, and NDIS funding can help you along the way.

Some things for you to consider

Which type of work or career is right for you?

  • What do you like to do?
  • What type of job do you want?
  • What skills do you already have?
  • Do you want to work part-time or full-time?
  • What type of activities fit your lifestyle?
What support will you need to reach your employment goal?
  • What other skills or education will you need?
  • How will you get to work?
  • What kinds of assistance will you need in the workplace?
  • Do you need adaptive equipment?
  • Do you need personal care when you are away from home?
  • Do you need help with medications?
How do you find the perfect job?
  • Talk to family, friends, teachers, and community leaders you trust
  • Contact your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) or NDIS Planner
  • Career counseling professionals
  • Employment service providers

Leaving School And The Pursuit Of Work

School Leavers Employment Supports (SLES)

This is NDIS Capacity Building funding that provides special training for students in the last year of secondary school and continues for 2 years after leaving school to assist in building the skills necessary for job readiness and to succeed in more independent living.

These supports are specific to each individual’s needs and are planned to help in achieving your career goals. A focus on workplace experience has proven to build an individual’s potential by developing valuable skills, personal independence, and confidence.

School Leavers Employment Supports Skill Building

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Time management
  • Planning and organizations
  • Money handling and personal budget skills
  • Appropriate behavior in the workplace
  • Personal hygiene and attire in the workplace
  • Conflict resolution, negotiation, and compromise
  • Teamwork
  • Working independently and reliability
  • Travel and commuting skills
  • Job skills training
  • Workplace experience in the community
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Job interviewing techniques
  • Discovering personal aptitudes and career guidance
  • Setting goals
  • Assistance in completing and submitting applications
  • Basic computer skills

NDIS Services In Finding And Keeping A Job

The NDIS partners with other mainstream employment systems and community programs to provide a comprehensive career-building solution for NDIS participants in need of both employment services and disability services. Many Australians with significant assistance needs due to disability would like to work, but need the right amount of support to succeed. The Capacity-Building category for Finding and Keeping a Job, found in your NDIS plan may provide the additional help you need.

Talk to your NDIS planner or Local Area Coordinator about:

  • Job readiness assessment
  • Career guidance
  • Education and skill building
  • Employment counseling
  • Workplace assistance
  • School leaver employment services to help students transition into the workforce
  • Information about other government services and employment funding available to you

Australia’s Training And Employment Services

You may find work in a variety of places

  • Private businesses
    • Single owner, partnership, or company in the same establishment that works for profit.
  • Government employers
    • Agencies or programs managed by the Australian Government, state, or territorial governments.
  • Micro-businesses 
    • Small business with a single owner-operator and usually employs 1-4 people. This would include family-run businesses. 
  • Social enterprises
    • Businesses run by individuals or non-profit organizations to create training and job opportunities for people with significant handicaps to the regular workforce.
  • Self-employment
    • You work for yourself and earn money directly for the goods or services you provide. This could be offering lawn services to your neighbors or printing services to local business owners. 
  • Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs)
    • Nonprofit organizations can provide work opportunities in a variety of industries including manufacturing, packaging, agriculture, and more.

When You Need Extra Help to Keep Your Job

Talk to your Local Area Coordinator, NDIS planner, or Support Coordinator about your work goals and how your NDIS plan can help you to achieve them. Speak to your employer or supervisor about the challenges you face and possible solutions. Consider other community organizations and services that may be available to assist you in keeping your job and improving your work experience. Have a conversation with family, friends, caregivers, or trusted community leaders that know you and can offer knowledgeable workplace advice. Supports in Finding and Keeping a Job are specific to the individual’s needs and may require a combination of assistance solutions.

Supports in keeping a job or improving your work experience

  • Emotional support and guidance in social interaction and networking
  • Travel or commuting skills (using public transportation, learning to drive, scheduled transportation)
  • Relationship and personal communication skills 
  • Job-related skills or tasks
  • Options of part-time and full-time employment and the demands
  • Personal care supports (taking medications, meals, bathroom needs)
  • Adaptive devices for job-specific equipment use and equipment modification
  • Interpreting in the workplace
  • Flexible work hours
  • Working from home
  • Access to a support worker or mentor on the job
  • Modes of communication to improve understanding and performance
  • Direct supervision during work
  • Written and visual instruction needs for learning
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