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Starting and building a career is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life. With the help of NDIS Supported Employment funding and your NDIS provider, you can start your work life, gain new skills, make friends, earn money, and be a productive part of the community. Supported employment allows people with disabilities to work, to find and keep a job. Jobs under supported employment are special vocations that provide extra support to help you do your job, learn necessary skills, and set career goals within the scope of assisted disability employment programs. 

Even though NDIS does provide assistance with daily life, you can choose to work at various employment options depending on your needs. Generally, vocations are categorised as supported employment or open employment. Supported employment is designed for people with disabilities and offers help that is not available in an ordinary workplace. On the other hand, open employment is available to anyone. Should you choose to find a job in open employment you will be working alongside people without disabilities. 


How is Supported Employment Funded? 

NDIS funding for supported employment is called supports in employment. NDIS can provide funding for personal care, required equipment such as wheelchairs or hearing aids related to your disability, supports to prepare you for a work life such as building your professional communication skills or learning how to transport to and from your workplace and help with finding a job. To help you advance in your professional life NDIS support in employment funding is included in your core plan. 

Supported employment is generally provided by Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs), Disability Employment Services (DES), and School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES). NDIS support in employment funding usually goes hand in hand with these programs. You can learn about the details of these programs to choose the best suited option for your career plans. 


What are Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs)? 

Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) are non-profit organisations that provide employment opportunities to people with disabilities. These organisations work like any other company but they provide support to their employees to help them be a productive member of society. The working area can vary greatly from packaging to the service industry. 

ADE employees can also get a pension and receive other benefits such as mobility allowance. NDIS participants that work in ADEs can receive supports in employment. 


What is Disability Employment Services (DES)? 

Disability employment services (DES) is a government initiative that aims to help people with disabilities to find and keep a job. DES providers can be non-profit or for-profit organisations of different sizes. These organizations are experienced at supporting people with disabilities.  

DES is run under two parts called disability management service and employment support service. Disability management service help you find a job and provide occasional support during your employment while employment support service can help you find a job and provide constant support during your employment. You can receive ether support depending on your situation. 

DES can help you discover your strengths, gain the necessary skills, and overcome obstacles on the way to success.  

If you are interested in open employment, DES can help you find the right vocation. 


What is School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)? 

School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) is a funding option specific to 16 to 19-year-old NDIS participants graduating from high school. SLES help young people with disabilities to prepare for a professional career, find work, and build new useful skills for the future. SLES funding is provided for a maximum of 2 years. Usually, SLES participants move on to receiving DES funding after this period.  

If you are about the leave high school and eager to kick start your career SLES can help you learn about communication and dress code in workplaces, job search process, time management, budget planning and money, and travelling to the workspace.  


How Can I Start? 

To be able to start your professional career and achieve your employment goals through NDIS and supported employment, you should first make sure that support in employment is included in your NDIS core plan. If it is not already included, you can ask for a core plan review and add it to your NDIS plan. Talk to your NDIS advisor about your work plans and employment goals. If getting a job is in your NDIS goals and the supported employment is a good fit for you, you will likely get it included in your NDIS core plan and receive the suitable funding. 

You then will need to discover which organisations provide the right support in your area and contact them to learn about your options. There might be ADEs that are suitable for you, organisations that offer DES, SLES, or both of them. You can start with a trial period to see if the job is actually a good fit and then move to work as a supported employee if the job is right for you. 

ADACare is one of the best places in NSW that you can discover different employment options and find a suitable job for you. If you are interested in supported employment, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us and start your journey!

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