Disability services across the nation have been given a shake up with the introduction and establishment of a new Disability Employment Services (DES) Provider panel which aims to bring about improvement to the program.
The panel of providers was made possible through a successful grant application, and following extensive community consultation involving people with disability, disability peak organisations, disability service providers and employers, the changes to the DES program are expected to take place on 1 July 2018.
As a result of the grant application process, 100 existing DES providers have been recommended to continue providing DES services across Australia, and 42 new organisations have been recommended to start providing DES services across Australia
“Under the changes to the program, DES participants will have greater choice about the services they receive and how they receive them,” the Department of Social Services says.
Other changes to the DES program include:
- More flexible arrangements for DES participants and providers to meet and interact
- DES participants will be able to choose their provider, removing the current market share arrangements
- Relaxing Employment Service Area restrictions for participants so they can choose to use a provider outside of their local area
- Making it easier for participants to change providers if they are unhappy with the services they are receiving
“The changes aim to improve the overall performance of the DES program to help more people with a disability, injury or health condition find and maintain employment,” the Department adds.
“A list of organisations that have received offers to deliver DES from 1 July 2018 is now available and shows for each Employment Service Region, which organisations have received offers to deliver Disability Management Service and which have received offers to deliver Employment Support Services, and within each of these, whether the offer is to deliver services to all client types or to a particular cohort of people.”