Defend Choice in Disability Employment - Support Our Voice Australia
The Federal Government will shortly consider the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission, including recommendations that may affect the 16,000 people with disability working in supported employment.
National Disability Services has long-advocated for supported employment to remain as a legitimate option for those who choose to access it.
We believe the focus should be lifting the employment rate of people with significant disability and ensuring there is a continuum of employment options available.
Most importantly, the lived experience and choices of supported employees should be heard and respected.
That’s why National Disability Services is issuing a call to action to help elevate the voices of people working in supported employment.
1. Promote OVA to your supported employees and their families
Our Voice Australia (OVA) is an advocacy organisation representing supported employees and their families. Run by the parents and siblings of their members with significant disability, OVA seeks to ensure everyone maintains the right to work and that supported employees have a say in the work they do and where.
If you want to help, we urge you to share information about Our Voice Australia with your supported employees and their families, so they have the option to join. For more information on OVA go to Our Voice Australia
Providers can sign up to the Our Voice Australia employer network
2. Help amplify the voices of people working in supported employment
To raise awareness of the supported workforce, OVA is developing a video campaign to tell Australia why these jobs matter to people with significant disability, their families and our economy.
But they need our help.
We are asking providers to gather video messages from employees and family members and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 September 2023.
We want to help OVA bring those messages together, from both big employers and smaller organisations, so we have a compelling story from people working in disability enterprises all around Australia about what they value about their job and what going to work means to them.
This is a positive opportunity to highlight the benefits of supported employment through the voices of the people working in those organisations.
National Disability Services is supporting this campaign by promoting it to providers, assisting Our Voice Australia with production of the video messages, and sharing the videos when they are developed.
- Your video doesn’t need to be a professional production, you can shoot it on a smartphone. We are mainly looking for authentic voices and an upbeat message. We’ll put it all together to make it look beautiful.
- Use the default camera app on your phone, rather than clips or third-party video app.
- Pop your camera or smartphone on a solid object to avoid movement.
- Good audio will help us make a great video so if you have a mic that’s great but otherwise, please try to minimise background noise and choose a quiet location to shoot your video.
- Ensure you have good lighting
- avoid positioning the person being recorded in front of a window, rather ensure any windows are behind the camera
- natural outdoor lighting is better than indoor artificial lighting (standing in the shade will achieve the best results)
- This is about focusing on the voice of supported employees and their families, so we aren’t looking to highlight provider logos or spokespeople.
- Please keep your video to under 20 seconds, we just need a short snippet.
- Please ensure you have signed consent from anyone you record to use their image/voice, using a downloaded copy of the OVA Photo/Video Consent Form [PDF]
Please join us in supporting Our Voice Australia with this important campaign, and send your contribution to email@example.com by 22 September 2023.
Here are some suggested messages to include in your video:
- Every Australian has the right to work if they want to, regardless of their abilities.
- Every Australian has the right to choose where they work and develop their career, regardless of their abilities.
- Supported employees are proud of the work they do; Australia should be too.
- Working in supported employment makes a huge difference to people with significant disability (i.e., self-esteem, purpose and pride; skill building, career development and confidence; social network and community connection).
- When making a decision about supported employment, the voices of the workers and the families directly involved are the most important and need to be heard.