Disability Employment Services (DES) are designed to help people with disabilities find and keep a job. These services provide specialised support tailored to the needs of individuals with disabilities, making it easier for them to enter or re-enter the workforce.

DES play a crucial role in promoting inclusivity in the workplace. By offering tailored support, these services help bridge the gap between job seekers with disabilities and potential employers. DES not only assists individuals in finding suitable employment but also ensures they have the necessary tools and support to maintain their employment.

What Are Disability Employment Services?

Disability Employment Services (DES) are government-funded programs aimed at helping people with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep a job. These services cater to the unique needs of individuals with disabilities, ensuring they receive the support required to succeed in the workplace.

DES programs offer a range of services to support job seekers with disabilities. These can include:

  • assistance with job searching
  • resume writing 
  • interview preparation
  • skills assessment
  • training
  • workplace modifications

DES programs are designed to provide ongoing support to both the employee and the employer (DES for Participants & DES for Employers), ensuring a smooth and successful employment experience.

Different Types of Disability Employment Services (ESS & DMS)

These two types of services ensure that individuals receive the appropriate level of support based on their specific needs and circumstances. These two are Employment Support Services (ESS), and Disability Management Services (DMS).

Employment Support Services (ESS)

ESS is for individuals with a permanent disability who need long-term, regular support in the workplace. This service provides ongoing assistance to help individuals maintain their employment and address any issues that may arise.

Disability Management Services (DMS)

DMS is for individuals with a temporary or permanent disability who need short-term support to find and keep a job. This service focuses on helping individuals achieve sustainable employment without the need for long-term assistance.

Who Disability Employment Services Helps

Eligibility Criteria for DES

To be eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES), individuals must meet certain criteria. Generally, these include:

  • Having a disability, injury, or health condition that affects their ability to work.
  • Being aged between 14 and the pension age.
  • Being an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Being able to work at least eight hours per week.

Eligibility is assessed through a process that may involve providing medical evidence and participating in an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) or a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA).

Examples Covered by Disability Employment Services

DES supports individuals with a wide range of disabilities, injuries, and health conditions. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical disabilities (e.g., mobility impairments, chronic pain).
  • Intellectual disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome, developmental delays).
  • Psychiatric disabilities (e.g., depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder).
  • Sensory disabilities (e.g., vision impairment, hearing loss).
  • Neurological disabilities (e.g., epilepsy, multiple sclerosis).

Individuals from diverse backgrounds and with various disabilities can benefit from DES. For instance:

  • A young person with autism seeking their first job and needing support with social skills and workplace integration.
  • An adult with a spinal injury looking for suitable job opportunities and workplace modifications to accommodate their needs.
  • A person with depression who requires assistance with job searching, interview preparation, and ongoing mental health support in the workplace.


How Do Disability Employment Services Help?

By providing comprehensive support throughout the employment process, DES helps individuals with disabilities achieve their career goals and maintain long-term employment.

Disability Employment Services (DES) offers a range of services tailored to support job seekers with disabilities throughout their employment journey. 

These services are designed to address the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, ensuring they have the necessary tools and resources to succeed in the workplace.

Job Search Assistance

DES providers help individuals identify suitable job opportunities based on their skills, interests, and capabilities. They offer guidance on how to search for jobs effectively, provide access to job listings, and connect job seekers with potential employers.

Resume and Interview Preparation

Creating a strong resume and performing well in interviews are crucial steps in securing employment. 

DES providers assist job seekers in crafting professional resumes that highlight their strengths and experiences. They also offer interview coaching, helping individuals prepare for common questions, practice their responses, and build confidence.

Skills Assessment and Training

To enhance employability, some DES providers conduct skills assessments to identify areas where job seekers may need further development. 

Based on these assessments, they offer training programs to improve relevant skills, whether it’s through formal education, vocational training, or on-the-job learning.

Workplace Modifications and Support

For individuals with disabilities, certain modifications may be necessary to perform their job effectively. 

DES providers work with employers to arrange necessary workplace adjustments, such as ergonomic equipment, accessible facilities, and adaptive technologies. This ensures that the work environment is accommodating and supportive of the individual’s needs.

Ongoing Support for Both Job Seekers and Employers

DES providers offer continuous support to both employees and employers to ensure successful and sustainable employment. For job seekers, this may include regular check-ins, mentoring, and addressing any challenges that arise in the workplace. 

For employers, DES providers offer guidance on best practices for supporting employees with disabilities, creating an inclusive work culture, and resolving any issues that may occur.

How Disability Employment Services Providers Help

Disability employment service providers are organisations that deliver Disability Employment Services (DES) to job seekers with disabilities. These providers are funded by the government to offer specialised support and resources to help individuals find and maintain employment.

How Providers Assist Individuals in Finding and Maintaining Employment

Employment service providers play a key role in the employment journey of individuals with disabilities. They assist by:

  • Conducting skills assessments to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Helping with job search activities, such as identifying suitable job opportunities and providing access to job listings.
  • Offering training and development programs to enhance employability.
  • Providing resume writing assistance and interview preparation to ensure job seekers present themselves effectively.
  • Arranging workplace modifications and support to ensure a conducive working environment.
  • Offering ongoing support and mentoring to address any issues that arise and ensure job retention.


Steps to Start Accessing Disability Employment Services

By following these steps, individuals with disabilities can access the resources and support they need to find and succeed in their chosen careers.

How to Apply for DES

Applying for Disability Employment Services involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Contact a DES Provider: Reach out to a DES provider, such as TURSA, to express interest in disability employment services.
  2. Eligibility Check: The provider will conduct an initial assessment to determine eligibility for DES.

The Assessment Process

Once eligibility is confirmed, the individual may undergo an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) or a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA). These assessments help determine the level of support needed and identify suitable employment goals. The assessment may involve:

  • Discussing work history and skills.
  • Reviewing medical evidence or documentation of disability.
  • Identifying any barriers to employment and potential solutions.

What to Expect After Being Approved for DES

After approval for DES, individuals can expect:

  • Personalised Support Plans: A disability employment services provider will develop a tailored plan outlining the services and support to be provided.
  • Regular Meetings: Ongoing meetings with the DES provider to track progress, address any challenges, and adjust the support plan as needed.
  • Access to Resources: Support with job search activities, training opportunities, and workplace modifications to ensure a successful employment experience.
  • Continued Assistance: Continuous support from the provider to help maintain employment, including mentoring and problem-solving assistance.


Get Started With Disability Employment Services

Disability Employment Services (DES) provide crucial support to individuals with disabilities, helping them find and maintain meaningful employment. 

The benefits of DES include personalised job search assistance, resume and interview preparation, skills assessment and training, workplace modifications, and ongoing support for both job seekers and employers. These services are designed to address the unique needs of individuals with disabilities, promoting inclusivity and equal opportunities in the workplace.

If you have a disability, injury, or health condition that affects your ability to work, Disability Employment Services can offer the support you need to achieve your employment goals. 

By accessing DES, you can benefit from tailored assistance that helps you navigate the job market, improve your skills, and secure a fulfilling job. Don’t hesitate to explore the opportunities available through DES and take the first step towards a successful career.

Local Disability Employment Services Near You

For more information and to get started with Disability Employment Services, you can contact a local disability employment services provider near you.

TURSA has locations across Australia with onsite disability employment services advocates who are ready to help individuals find and keep long-term, meaningful employment. 

We encourage you to learn more about DES through our website, or by contacting us online. Our friendly staff are happy to help you no matter where you are on your job-seeking journey. So whether you’re just hearing about disability employment services, or whether you’re looking to explore the employment opportunities available to you now, we can help.