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CAREER ADVISERS

Information about disability

The following information is a general overview of the more common disability. It is intended only as a starting point for getting to know and understand an individual with a disability.

Common Physical disability:

Common Neurological disability:

Common Sensory disability:

Common Developmental disability:

Common Psychiatric disability:

Facts about students and employees with disability

Workforce Development and Training Institutes (formerly TAFE) Disability Services Officers

Disability Services Officers are available to co-ordinate the support and assistance that will help students with disability to participate more effectively and achieve better vocational and employment outcomes.

Services offered to students with disability (who have been assessed as qualifying for assistance) by TAFE Disability Services Officers can include:

Assistance for job seekers and employees with disability

Job seekers and employees with disability are able to register with a specialist disability employment service if they are assessed by a Job Capacity Assessor (where applicable) as being eligible for specialist assistance.

If they do not satisfy the eligibility criteria a Job Capacity Assessor will determine their eligibility for assistance from a Job Services Australia employment stream and provide them with a referral to appropriate providers.

The new streams are:

Disability Employment Services can assist people with disability to find employment in a wide range of occupations. Services that they can provide to job seekers and employees with disability include:

Traineeships and apprenticeships for people with disability

In 2000, the Australian National Training Authority published 'Bridging Pathways: A Blueprint for the National Plan of Action for Increasing Opportunities for People with a Disability in Vocational Education and Training'. Bridging Pathways found that:

Apprenticeships and traineeships can provide an ideal learning environment and career development opportunity for many people with disability. Among the growing number of traineeships that are offered, some that are popular amongst people with disability include: automotive, business administration, building and construction, community services, food, hospitality, information technology, land care, light manufacturing, process manufacturing, office skills, retail, small business, transport, and warehousing.

Some apprenticeships that people with disability are currently successfully completing include: auto mechanic, auto panel and paint, boilermaker, bread maker, cabinet maker, chef, electrician, hairdresser, mould and core maker, optical mechanic, plasterer, plumber and horticulturalist.

Many people with disability undertaking traineeships and apprenticeships are benefiting from the supports available through disability employment agencies and/or Group Training Organisations. The disability employment agency and the Group Training Organisation work together to support the trainee or apprentice, and the host employer, by:

There are more than 30 disability employment services operating in Western Australia. They are located all around Perth and in regional centre’s such as Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha, Newman, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Bridgetown, Narrogin, Northam, Busselton, Bunbury, Collie and Mandurah.

There are similar numbers of Group Training Organisations operating in Western Australia. They are also located all around Perth and in regional centres such as Kununurra, Karratha, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Albany, Bunbury, Northam, Mandurah and Christmas Island.

Success stories

Paul James
Records Management

Paul graduated from TAFE with an Associate Diploma of Business (Information Technology) in 1996. Initially Paul found negative employer attitudes and a lack of knowledge about workplace modifications and assistive equipment to be a barrier to gaining employment. Paul has always had a physical disability and uses an electric scooter to get around. He communicates well and is assisted by a voice-operated computer.

Paul registered with a disability employment agency to assist him to overcome these barriers and together they mapped out his future career path. In 1998 Paul commenced a traineeship at the Ministry of Premier and Cabinet. A position was negotiated within the department and a Training Program Outline that took advantage of Paul's skills, qualification and interests developed. The disability employment agency arranged a height adjustable work-station, voice recognition software, one handed office tools and accessible doorways, provided Paul with on-the-job support, and liaised with TAFE to support his off-the-job training.

On completion of his traineeship Paul was offered permanent employment with the department. Today he manages records in the Premier's office and deals with ministerial correspondence. In particular he searches, creates and moves records for the Premier's Department, and monitors how ministers have responded to their correspondence.

Cameron Searle
Human Resource Information System

Cameron graduated from TAFE with an Associate Diploma in Business Administration in 1991. Cameron realised that he needed to obtain work experience if he was to compete with the general workforce for work. He organised voluntary work, but was still unable to overcome negative employer attitudes to gain employment.

Cameron uses a manual wheelchair to get around in public. Communication is not a problem and he writes using a keyboard. Cameron registered with a disability employment agency. At his request the agency provided him with one-to-one job search training focused on anticipating and managing employer's concerns and selling his abilities.

The disability employment agency set up interviews for Cameron and he quickly secured a full-time contract position. With the on-going support of the employment service he has remained in continuous employment, achieved several career advancements, and now has a well-established career in human resources within the public sector. This has included employment in the Health Department of Western Australia, Government Employees Housing Authority and the Ministry of Housing and Works.

Daniel Mizen
Apprentice Plumber

Daniel was 16 years old when he registered with a disability employment agency. He undertook several weeks of work experience to gain a better understanding of how his disability may impact on his job performance before deciding on a plumbing apprenticeship. Daniel performs best with hands-on tasks and uses built-up grips and clamping devices to overcome his difficulties with fine motor co-ordination as well as a tutor to assist with theoretical learning.

Daniel commenced his apprenticeship in 1999 and will soon be entering his fourth and final year. His employer undertakes many small contracts that require a wide range of skills across various sites. Disabled Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy funding was secured for both Daniel's employer and TAFE by the disability employment agency. This provided the employer with a wage subsidy of a little over $100 per week plus funding to purchase and adapt appropriate equipment. It also enabled Daniel to have his own tutor at TAFE and to find a mentor to assist him to perform the tasks required at work.

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