The Australian Government will soon review the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission, including employment services and opportunities for people living with disability.

Around 16,000 people living with disabilities work as Supported Employees across Australia. Working in Supported Employment makes a significant difference in the lives of people with disability – engaging in work helps to people to grow their self-esteem and confidence, and work towards financial security and independence. It gives people purpose, a sense of pride, and provides opportunities to grow into different careers and learn new skills.

“Having a job means I can be financially stable to live in my own home which I recently purchased with my wife.”Daniel, Team Leader and Supported Employee

At OC Connections Enterprises’, we employee a hundred people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities across four main areas of work: packing and assembly, administration and document management, eco fleet cleaning, and eco product manufacturing.

Our supported employees are passionate, hard-working. They enjoy coming into work and getting the job done, and they thrive in social spaces where they’re able to develop their teamwork and communication skills. Employees build community in the workplace, they make friends with similar interests and values.

“Work provides me with an opportunity to develop myself with new skills. It provides confidence. It’s a place I look forward to go to when I get up in the morning.”Valerie, Supported Employee in Document Management

Following the Disability Royal Commission review, we want to ensure that a diverse range of employment options continue to be available for people living with disabilities. The focus must be on uplifting the employment rate and improving support structures within the labour market.

Every Australian has the right to choose what kind of work they do and where. Everyone has the right to choose to work, regardless of abilities.

Along with National Disability Services (NDS), Our Voice Australia (OVA) and many organisations in the sector, OC Connections aims to spotlight the supported workforce and raise awareness of the significance of supported employment and the many benefits that it provides.

We want to ensure everyone, regardless of abilities, maintains the right to work and participate in their community. This call to action represents the strength and determination of the disability community, in breaking down walls and making our voices heard.

If you want to get involved and engage with NDS and OVA, click here.