It would have to be one of the most universal human desires: to be useful. To find a vocation, do it well, and to be fairly rewarded for doing it. Ideally, we find a job doing something we have an interest in, and so we can enjoy it too. The benefits of being employed have been proven time and time again. They include:
Increased confidence and self-esteem
Created feeling of contribution and social inclusion
A greater sense of identity and purpose
Improved general mental health
Helping to promote recovery and rehabilitation from illness
Improved financial situation, and thus, greater control over one’s life and choices
The opportunity to make friends (Mental Illness Foundation of New Zealand, 2007)
Unfortunately, people with disabilities face barriers to employment, including blatant and inadvertent barriers raised by employers – and many employers do admit being reluctant to take on a person with a disability.
But the good news is that most of the time, this reluctance doesn’t stem from a prejudice about the person themselves, or their abilities or disabilities. The reluctance comes from a lack of confidence in their (the employers) ability to effectively facilitate the employee in the workplace.
A 2010 report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, titled “What would it take? Employer perspectives on employing people with a disability”, says the “disability confidence” of employers is very low, meaning employers don’t feel they have enough knowledge and/or resources to manage the employment of someone with a disability.
Fortunately, thanks to the NDIS, the employment landscape is changing, and opportunities for people with disabilities to secure jobs are growing. Under the NDIS, there is increased investment, demand, and available options for people with disability. This increased investment will require significant growth in the number of workers across the disability sector and in the range of skills and abilities required to meet new demand, needs and expectations. As such, employers are also being supported and educated to feel confident employing people with disabilities.
As an NDIS service provider, I Can Direct can help you plan for a future that includes employment. We can connect you with disability service providers in Queensland that are right for you and that will assist you to make your plan a reality. These can include vocational education and training, employment services, or other things you need to start a great job.
For more information on how you can make I Can Direct your NDIS provider, please contact us on 0414 611 168 or book your free two-hour consultation with us by clicking here.
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 2007, ‘Return To Work: Returning to Work after experiencing mental illness and other mental health issues’ Auckland, www.mentalhealth.org.nz
NCVER, 2010, ‘What would it take? Employer perspectives on employing people with a disability’ Adelaide, https://www.ncver.edu.au/