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School to Work Disability Employment Conference - Securing Futures, Shifting Mindsets

  • 14 September 2022 15 September 2022
  • 09:00am - 05:00pm 09:00am - 05:00pm
  • Novotel Parramatta, 350 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150

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Why it is important to talk about employment

Getting a job is a rite of passage for most Australians. Employment enables a sense of contribution, creates opportunities for relationships and adds meaning to a person's life.

Australians with disability, however, face substantial barriers to obtaining employment, with Australia having one of the lowest employment rates for people with disability - ranking 21 out of 29 in the OECD* . This increases dramatically for people with significant disability who often spend their adult lives in disability programs or sheltered workshops, with many in this cohort still considered unemployable.

With our disability employment services under review, and Australian Disability Enterprises being scrutinised, this is the perfect time to progress employment for all people with disability.

The "Securing Futures, Shifting Mindsets" Conference offers a candid opportunity to explore the way forward for those invested in supporting successful employment outcomes alongside people with significant disability.

*OECD - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Who should attend

Anyone interested in ensuring that stronger employment outcomes for people with disability are experienced.

Whether you are a person with disability, a family member who is supporting their loved one to navigate school to work and post school employment pathways, a disability employment service, an Australian Disability Enterprise, from the education sector or the disability sector, this event is for you.

We also strongly encourage policy teams that are grappling with progressive employment strategies from both a state and national level.

What to expect

Two jam-packed days of thought provoking presentations and purposeful discussions aiming to:

  • Demonstrate employment is achievable for people with significant disability
  • Create a shift in thinking about what is possible and how we can make it happen
  • Create discussions on key barriers currently impacting the employment of people with significant disability
  • Share practical strategies to prepare young people with disability for work while they are still at school
  • Highlight models and approaches leading to successful employment
  • Engage with both National and International presenters at the forefront of the field of employment for people with disability.

Who are the speakers

  • People with disability who will share their insights on employment
  • Families supporting their family member with disability to navigate employment opportunities and supports
  • National and International experts in employment models and practices.

Some of the international speakers include: 

Therese Fimian, President - Marc Gold & Associates (Virginia, U.S.)

Therese has worked in the disability employment field for over 20 years, overseeing national workforce, research and demonstration projects and programs to increase access to employment and economic empowerment for individuals with significant disabilities.

She directed a national initiative through which hundreds of customised employment positions and strong partnerships with businesses were created.

She has worked with national and state agencies to develop and improve strategy, policy and practice to increase interest in and access to resources and services that result in competitive, integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.

David Mank Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, U.S.

Dr. Mank is a Senior Advisor at the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, and is the former Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana’s University Centre for Excellence on Disabilities.

As a writer and researcher, he has an extensive background in the education and employment for persons with disabilities. He has authored or coauthored dozens of articles and book chapters.

Dr. Mank has worked on issues related to Competitive Integrated Employment for people with significant disabilities for many years.

Milton Tyree, Project Associate for the University of Kentucky and owner of Milton Tyree Employment Consulting, LLC

Milton has decades of experience in the area of disability employment, and has advanced supported and customised employment for more than 25 years. He helped develop and direct Community Employment, Kentucky’s first supported employment program. His present work at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute is focused on leadership development including the Supported Employment Leadership Series. In 2013, he received The Marc Gold Award for Employment, presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to increasing access to community and integrated employment for people with significant disabilities.

Local speakers include:

Jan Kruger 

Jan is the Executive Director of Imagine More, a family led organisation in Canberra.  Jan is a wife to Paul and mother to 4 fabulous young adults. Her youngest, Jack, is a CrossFit member, friend, AFL supporter and Government Household officer who happens to have Down syndrome.  Jan has used Social Role Valorisation to inform how to work towards crafting a full and meaningful life for Jack. Ove the last 3 years  Jan has been drawing on Social Role Valorisation together with customised employment principles to find and maintain meaningful paid work and volunteer roles for Jack. Jan and her family continuously work towards building an ordinary, inclusive life for Jack, where he enjoys a sense of belonging as a valued member of his community. 

Jack Kruger

Jack Kruger is an Oztag player, world traveller, movie enthusiast, employee, Learner driver, friend and who happens to have Down syndrome. Jack finished school in 2020 at Daramalan College in Canberra, Australia.  Jack attended his local schools for his education and as a result is widely known within his community.  Since finishing school Jack has worked as an After-School Care Educator, a Government House Household officer and is studying fitness at the local college. Jack is now crafting a meaningful week of work, study, sport and leisure.

Trevor R Parmenter, Professor Emeritus, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

Catherine McAlpine, Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Australia

Julia Shumaker, Jack Kruger's Job Mentor

Rhi Samuels-Connell, a passionate young person who wants to have the same opportunities while she proudly lives with disability

Di Samuels, Parent advocate and mother of Rhi. She’s had a long association with Family Advocacy, starting when Rhiannon was preschool aged

Annette Bush, Parent advocate and mother of five children - her youngest, Jacob, has an intellectual disability.

... and more! Click here to go the dedicated website https://schooltowork.org.au/ for the full line of speakers, program and latest updates

Bookings essential

People with disability & families* $190
Professionals $480

*If cost is a barrier for people with disability & families, contact us to discuss options