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WHAT WORKS: EMPLOYING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Presentation to the National Disability Authority Annual Conference, 29 October 2014 Dublin, Ireland Michael.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT WORKS: EMPLOYING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Presentation to the National Disability Authority Annual Conference, 29 October 2014 Dublin, Ireland Michael."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT WORKS: EMPLOYING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES Presentation to the National Disability Authority Annual Conference, 29 October 2014 Dublin, Ireland Michael J. Prince University of Victoria

2 Evidence Employment of people with disabilities – complex issue Obtaining conclusive evidence on what works is difficult Different measures work in different countries People with disabilities are not a homogenous group Quality and evaluation of studies varies (OECD 2010; 2011) (Prince 2011, 2012; 2014) 2

3 What Works Government policies and strategies that: - Prioritise the employment of people with disabilities - Support employers to not only employ but to retain people with disabilities - Support people with disabilities to access education, training and employment opportunities - Most importantly that focus on creating partnerships between people with disabilities and employers 3

4 Financial Incentives -Employers? Part of the solution but not the most influential factor Financial incentives for employers e.g. wage subsides, tax exemptions Aim to address employers’ concerns – perceived costs of employing people with disabilities Danish Flexi Jobs system – employers get 50-60% wage subsidy for flexible working hours and accommodations Positive outcomes only for people aged 35-44 Majority of OECD countries - low uptake by employers Little progression for people with disabilities to unsubsidised employment (OECD 2010) 4

5 Issues - Financial Incentives Many employers are not aware of supports e.g. - Financial incentives - Funding for reasonable accommodations - Funding for training in disability competence Many employers have concerns about employing people with disabilities Lack experience and knowledge of working with people with disabilities 5

6 Financial Incentives – People with disabilities? Financial incentives - encourage people with disabilities into work Part of the solution, not the main factor Earnings disregard (Ireland, Canada), Tax Credits (UK), Resting Disability Pension (Sweden) awards additional income for people going into employment USA Ticket to Work – people get a ticket exchanged for job or supports services from employer networks Employer networks – public and private providers, and employers In 2007 fewer than 1,400 of 12.2 m tickets issued over 5 years converted to workforce participation (Autor and Duggan, 2007; OECD 2010) Low uptake of these schemes – fear of loss of benefits 6

7 What Works Raising expectations from birth throughout adulthood Employment is a realistic option for people with disabilities Joined up system of supports across education, health and employment services Support young people and adults with disabilities to not just obtain but to retain employment by: Building a partnership between: - person with a disability - the educational, health services and disability employment services and the employer Engage employers in the process – address their concerns 7

8 Transitions from school to work Early participation in work placements/ internships in post primary school aged 14/15 Key element to this success: Education staff including guidance counsellors trained in disability competence Employers trained in disability competence Strong partnerships between schools, disability employment service and students with disabilities Ongoing support for the young person and the employer ( Luecking 2011; Prince 2012) 8

9 Training for Work Post primary options Access to further education/vocational programmes Higher education programmes that provide internships in mainstream employment Apprenticeships/employment programmes that provide with on the job training Successful examples: Québec career/technical programs in community colleges: 5 to 10 months after graduation, of students with disabilities, 51% working full-time, another 15% working part-time 81% in a job related to their field of study (Fichten et al 2012) Evaluation of Australian apprenticeship/training system - 82% of graduates with disabilities in paid work (Cocks, Thoresen and Lee 2013) 9

10 Ongoing support Balance between mainstream services and provision of specialist services e.g. Australia Denmark – one disability expert for disability employment in each employment office Member of the employment services sits on the community mental health teams Profiling of people’s work capacity and swift referral to an appropriate service e.g. Australia and Norway Often a need for ongoing supports – supported employment 10

11 Retaining Employment/Return to Work Vocational rehabilitation (VR) programmes Joined up system of health, training and employment services and working with employers Focus on getting people who have acquired a disability back into work Several countries including the UK, Australia, Canada have countrywide vocational programmes. Positive outcomes in some countries, less so in others Early intervention of services within 6 weeks is key VR programmes focused on employment and rehabilitation more effective 11

12 Programme elements Building relationships with people with disabilities: file reviews, strength-based selection, pre-vocational activities, job carving Building relationships with employers: networking, site visits, identification of employer needs Creating a pool of VR participants: motivated and reliable Creating a pool of job vacancies: government and public sectors, social enterprises, private sector Individualizing job plans: protocols for specific disability groups, collaboration with partners 12

13 Canadian System Evaluation of Canadian Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) Vocational Rehabilitation Programme (2003) Average expenditure for vocational rehabilitation services of $6,154 (€4,303) Of the 230 in the study group, 40% obtained employment Cost savings of approximately $5,000 (€3,500) per client over four year period Estimated gross savings of approximately $440,000 (€308,000) No substantial difference in the probability of obtaining employment for clients as they get older Possible social benefits (e.g. higher self-esteem, lower use of health services) not examined in this evaluation 13

14 Additional Employment Supports In Canada, Australia and other OECD countries Time limited benefits that assist people with disabilities on the pathway to employment One time benefit, for example a single payment or reimbursement for purchasing tools or work clothes Transitional time, extended health or drug benefits for 12 or 18 months after leaving disability income support and while in employment Trial work periods, e.g., Canada, USA 14

15 Fear of losing benefits How can you address people’s fears of losing benefits? Make work pay? Flexible system whereby people can quickly return to benefits If they cannot continue working due to their disability: - Implement an automatic reinstatement system - Implement a fast track reapplication to benefits 15

16 Automatic Reinstatement Situation: A person with a disability is in employment but cannot continue working because of their disability In Canada, people on CPPD can ask to have their benefits automatically reinstated without having to go through the usual application process Available for 2 years from the date benefits end Disability benefits are reinstated starting the month after the person became unable to work due to their disability There is no limit to how many times you can ask for your benefits to be reinstated. 16

17 Fast Track Application In Canada, if a person with a disability has worked longer than two years and they cannot continue to work They may be eligible for a fast-track reapplication—a simpler and faster process than filing a new application Fast-track reapplication is available for up to five years after your benefits stopped 17

18 Earnings disregard In Canada people with disabilities can earn up to $5,100 (€3,570) (before taxes) without telling the government and without losing their benefits If they earn more than this threshold, they must contact Service Canada Service Canada is a “one-stop shop” for access to a wide range of federal government services Person can do volunteer work, go back to school to upgrade or complete a degree, take a re-training programme: none of these activities affect the client’s income benefits 18

19 Results of these measures Evaluation of the CPPD program found that: a. automatic reinstatement combined with the earnings disregard increase the employment of beneficiaries b. Increased employment of 9.5% for women and 5.1% for men c. No evidence of induced entry effect, that is, no increased uptake of the benefits (Campolieti, Gunderson and Smith 2014) 19

20 Summary: What works No one measure in isolation A combination of many things Automatic reinstatement, earnings disregard and time limited benefits Providing a pathway into employment and a pathway to remain in employment Integrated system of employment supports across education, health, employment and transport Integrated national vocational rehabilitation systems 20

21 Engagement & Partnership Engage people with disabilities and their support networks and employment services Engage and involve employers Develop mutually beneficial integrated partnerships between the two groups Increase employers’ awareness and understanding of supports Establish employer networks and peer support groups 21

22 Monitor and Evaluate Develop effective systems to capture reliable data Evaluate, review and provide evidence of: - What works? - Where (what countries does it work in)? - Why does it work? - How does it work? - Who does it work for? Evaluate quality and consistency of employment services and supports for people with disabilities and employers Develop necessary next steps to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities 22

23 Thank you 23

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