Disability Employment Services

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Whether you have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability, disability employment services can help you prepare for work, find jobs and keep them. These services are available to eligible job seekers through Centrelink.

Disability employment services are referred to a DES provider by Centrelink, who will assess their individual needs and develop a plan for the support needed to gain and maintain employment. DES providers are not-for-profit organisations with experience in supporting people with disability to get and stay in the workforce. They work closely with employers and businesses to promote hiring of people with disability and provide training, support and other assistance to employees with disabilities. They also provide access to a range of community-based support services.

Understanding Disability Employment Services

The 2018 DES review noted that despite improving financial incentives to encourage DES participants into further education and training, this did not translate into better employment outcomes for them or for people with disability more broadly. This is consistent with wider research suggesting that encouraging DES participants to pursue further study does not automatically lead to employment and that structural barriers continue to prevent job-seekers from getting jobs.

Many states have agencies that can help you explore your employment options. These agencies include state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, which are governed by the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and can assist you with career counseling, job-seeking skills and finding employment opportunities. You can also contact your local Independent Living Center (ILC) for employment-related support services.