Government supports – Disability Employment Services

Government supports and initiatives are also in place to assist people gain employment. Your family member may be eligible to access these supports as well. It is important to point out that if your family member is accessing a Disability Employment Service, it is valuable for families to take an active role and use some of the ideas listed on the previous webpage.

Employment Support Service provides assistance to people with disability who need regular, ongoing support to keep a job.

Disability Employment Services are a national network of community and private organisations dedicated to helping people with disability find work and keep a job in the open labour market. They also provide assistance to create natural supports within the workplace. 

Disability Employment Services should provide:

  • help to prepare for work including training in specific job skills
  • job search support such as resume development, interview skills training and help to look for suitable jobs
  • support when initially placed into a job, including on the job training and co-worker and employer supports
  • ongoing support in a job if required
  • purchase of vocational training and other employment related assistance
  • access to help with workplace modifications, support services and Auslan interpreting in the workplace
  • assistance if you are at risk of losing your job because of your disability, injury or health condition

If your family member is registered with a Disability Employment Service and the above is not occurring please contact us and we can provide guidance on how to speak with the service.

Could your family member receive support through a Disability Employment Service?

To find out if your family member can receive support through a Disability Employment Service, or other Commonwealth employment programs, it is suggested to either contact an Employment Service Provider directly or contact Centrelink on 13 28 50 as they can also refer you to a provider. Some providers may request you get a referral from Centrelink and others may register you on the spot. To find out where an Employment Service Provider is near you contact Job Access on 1800 464 800.

Some Disability Employment Services (DES) may request some form of proof that your family member has a disability. If your family member is not on a Disability Support Pension or does not have a labelled diagnosis, it may be sufficient enough to request a letter from their local General Practitioner. You can also speak to Family Advocacy about how you might approach this issue.

Ongoing support in a job

If your family member is supported by a Disability Employment Service, you should be aware of what the services’ role entails. Disability Employment Services are to place, train and maintain people into quality jobs in the regular workforce.  

It should be expected that once someone is employed, an employment service will provide initial one-to-one support until the person with disability can carry out the agreed role of the job.

Expected Ongoing Maintenance from a Disability Employment Service

Disability Employment Services should also provide ongoing maintenance support to ensure that everything is continuing to run smoothly.  Staff should then be available to provide additional training, encouragement to a work staff about further development and learning and also explain relevant information on supports required to new supervisors or co-workers.

Want extra information about Disability Employment Services?

If you would like more information on DES please follow the link to access the Guidelines:

Other supports available

 JobAccess - available support

The JobAccess Advisers can provide confidential advice free of charge on matters relating to the employment of people with disability. Assistance available includes help finding work, changing jobs, accessing DES providers and workplace modifications to help you find and maintain employment. Contact the JobAccess Advisers on 1800 464 800.


IncludeAbility is an initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission developed to increase meaningful employment opportunities for people with disability, and to close the gap in workforce participation between people with disability and people without disability.

National Standards for Disability Services

It is also useful to be aware of the National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS). The National Standards for Disability Services document covers the rights and outcomes for people as well as standards for service and indicators of practice under each of the 6 national standards. Standards 1, 2 and 3 in particular cover rights, participation and inclusion, and individual outcomes. The NSDS are applicable to all Disability Employment Services under the the Department of Social Services. Services also need to adhere to the Quality Strategy for Disability Employment and Rehabilitation Services  as legislated in the Disability Services Act (1986).

NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014

In NSW there is legislation designed to respect the human rights of people with disability through the following objects of the Disability Inclusion Act, 2014.

(a)  to acknowledge that people with disability have the same human rights as other members of the community and that the State and the community have a responsibility to facilitate the exercise of those rights,
(b)  to promote the independence and social and economic inclusion of people with disability,
(c)  to enable people with disability to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and the planning and delivery of their supports and services,
(d)  to provide safeguards in relation to the delivery of supports and services for people with disability,
(e)  to support, to the extent reasonably practicable, the purposes and principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
(f)  to provide for responsibilities of the State during and following the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Please call Family Advocacy if you have specific questions regarding service standards and what should be expected.

You can also download our Factsheet of questions you can ask when investigating a DES for your family member.

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