Reposted from a story By Lisa Martin AAP May 23, 201311:39PM
EMPLOYMENT participation levels of people with disabilities have hit a three-year low, a new national report finds.
It paints a bleak picture about barriers to securing employment and social participation for people with disabilities.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Reform Council report, to be released on Friday, assesses progress on the national disability agreement using the latest available data from 2009 to 2012.
Council chairman John Brumby told reporters in Canberra there had been no improvement on the poor result of workforce participation from last year’s report.
Mr Brumby said carers looking after family members with disabilities were less likely to be employed.
Improved results are expected in the next three to five years as the national disability insurance scheme, DisabilityCare, rolls out.
Mr Brumby declined to weigh in on Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett’s refusal to sign up for the national scheme.
National Disability Services chief executive Ken Baker told AAP no one should dispute there’s a lot of unmet need within the WA disability system.
“It may be a good system, but it doesn’t have enough coverage,” he said.
Mr Baker said governments had to minimise the “perception of risk” among people with disabilities that if employment opportunities don’t work out they’ll be left without any money source.
A spokeswoman for Carers Australia said there was a need for carer-specific employment training to be introduced for former carers once the person they were looking after had died or moved to residential care.
The organisation also wants a review of the 25 hours rule that caps the amount of employment hours people receiving carers payments can work