Speech for the 2016 National Disability Awards
We are rating at the moment 21 out of 29 OECD countries for disability employment. That is frankly not good enough. If it was an Olympic sport there would probably be an outcry from the community. So this discussion paper will help us identify people who are doing it the right way, the successful way.
Employment is important for our economic security. But it is also more than that. A job gives us a sense of independence and self-worth. It contributes to our physical and mental health and helps to shape our sense of identity.
We have a shared vision for an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential both within the wider community and within themselves. This means driving improvements across the mainstream services that all Australians take for granted – not just specialist disability services.
I am pleased to join with Minister Ajaka to launch the ‘SkillsLink2Work’ website. SkillsLink2Work is a free online toolkit that will help carers match their skills to employment opportunities.
Employment for people with disability is not just about a job and money to pay the bills. It is an opportunity for new social interaction and developing new levels of independence. Most importantly, it is opportunity for self-worth and creating perception changes across the wider workforce.
I am delighted to launch the ABLE XSeries. This innovative course is an excellent opportunity for health professionals, service providers, policy makers and those working in the healthcare sector to hear from people with intellectual disability experts from around the world.