Deaf people face many barriers in seeking and maintaining employment, such as: communication issues, workplace modifications, employers’ and co-workers’ attitudes, and access to interpreters.


Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill

In October 2014 The Federal Government has introduced an amendment to the social security legislation to strengthen the job seeker’s compliance framework and provide stronger incentives for job seekers to meet their mutual obligation requirements to attend appointments with their employment service providers.

Deaf Australia raises concerns that the burden of this proposed compliance is on deaf and hard of hearing job seekers, as many employment service providers do not provide for communication access needs for deaf and hard of hearing people on an on going basis.

It is Deaf Australia’s view that the proposed Amendment will greatly disadvantage deaf and hard of hearing people and penalise deaf and hard of hearing people through no fault of their own.

Deaf Australia has put forward a submission to the senate committee. You can read the full submission by downloading the document below.

Download the document here (PDF 175KB)

Disability Employment Services Consumer Engagement 2012 – 2014

Beginning in October 2012, DEEWR, and now the Department of Social Security, has held a ‘Consumer Engagement Day’, twice per year to which representatives from peak disability representative organisations are invited. Deaf Australia has attended each of these meetings.

An outcome of these meetings has been that in the second half of 2013, DEEWR (now DSS) provided some funding to each of the participating organisations to enable them to conduct a community engagement project up to the end of June 2014.

Rachel Byrnes is holding a series of workshops for Deaf people around Australia providing some information and gathering feedback about Deaf people’s experiences and views about Disability Employment Services. This information will be sent to DSS.


Improving the employment participation of people with disability in Australia, February 2013

In December 2012, the Australian Government released a discussion paper about how to improve employment participation for people with disabilities. Deaf Australia asked our members what they think, via a survey. Based on responses received, we sent a submission in response to the discussion paper on 15 February 2013.

Download a copy of the discussion paper (PDF 326KB)

Supported employment

In June 2011 Deaf Australia sent comments to the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) about a proposed vision for employment for people with disabilities, i.e. what should happen with supported employment.


AFDO meeting with DEEWR – January 2011

AFDO held a meeting on employment issues with DEEWR in January 2011 and Deaf Australia provided information to AFDO in preparation for this meeting.


National Disability Employment Forum – July 2010

In July 2010 Deaf Australia attended the National Disability Employment Forum jointly organised by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and FaHCSIA and addressed by both the Hon Bill Shorten and Senator Stephen Conroy. The focus of the forum was on finding ways to encourage employers to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities. It was attended by many employers and employer representatives and discussions were very positive.

We also attended a meeting with DEEWR and FaHCSIA the day before the forum to outline for them the major employment issues for people with disabilities.


National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy, 2009

In June 2008, Deaf Australia provided comments in response to a discussion paper developed by the Australian Government on a proposed National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy.

The final National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy was released in 2009.

Download a copy of the response to the discussion paper (PDF 509KB)

Employment Forum – July 2007

Deaf Australia (then AAD) co-hosted a National Deaf Forum in Melbourne on 27 July 2007, with Deaf Children Australia, Australian Federation of Deaf Societies, and Deafness Forum.

This forum discussed the following issues:

  • Auslan For Employment Program: Interpreters and Work
  • Employment Needs of Hard of Hearing People
  • What will 2009 bring for the Deaf Community?
  • The New Zealand Support Funds Model and Statistics

Comments for Centrelink’s Australians Working Together Customer Reference Group – July 2005

In July 2005 Deaf Australia (then AAD) provided comments on specific questions asked by Centrelink’s Australians Working Together Customer Reference Group.

Download a copy of the document (PDF 59KB)

Inclusion of Auslan in the EAF – June 2005

In June 2005 Deaf Australia (then AAD) wrote to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations about the need to include Auslan interpreting in the (then) Workplace Modifications Scheme (now the Employment Assistance Fund)

Download a copy of the letter (PDF 171KB)

Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission Public inquiry on employment and disability – September 2004 & April 2005

In September 2004, Deaf Australia sent a submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission (then the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission), in response to a request for comment on a possible public inquiry on employment and disability.

Deaf Australia’s (then Australian Association of the Deaf) submission urged the Commission to hold an inquiry and outlined the issues that we hoped would be investigated by an inquiry.

Download a copy of the submission (PDF 312KB)

This was followed by an inquiry, and Deaf Australia sent a submission to this inquiry in April 2005.

Download a copy of the inquiry submission (PDF 161KB)