Working Lives and Client Voices Discussion Papers Released

Our parent company, genU recently released the Working Lives Discussion Paper and Client Family Voices Discussion Paper in response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and its aim to better understand the experiences of people with disability in a range of employment settings.

genU is committed to supporting our clients to share their experiences and to have their voices heard in an effort to improve outcomes for our clients, families and carers.

The Working Lives Discussion Paper was prepared in response to the Issues Paper on Employment and exploring the experiences of people with disability as they participate in mainstream employment, supported employment or community-based enterprises, work experience programs and in the search for work.

The Client and family voices on COVID-19 Discussion Paper was prepared in response to the Issues Paper on Emergency Planning and Response and primarily focusing on the experiences of genU clients, families and significant others with communication, the provision of essential support and government and community supports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facilitated by genU Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Jacqui McKim, clients, their families and significant others, and supported employees were invited to share their experiences through the following opportunities that recognised the diverse literacy and communication abilities of the genU community:

  • Online surveys
  • Focus groups
  • A designated email address (disabilityroyalcommission@genu.org.au)
  • Private 1:1 conversations
  • Facilitated discussion groups with a specifically designed set of questions to prompt the sharing of experiences

The Working Lives Discussion Paper

Read the full Discussion Paper via the links below:

Working Lives Discussion Paper – Standard English

Working Lives Discussion Paper – Easy Read

This discussion paper found:

  • People with disability employed on a casual or part-time basis would like to work more.
  • Supported employees from genU Business Enterprises (supported employment) have a 97% or higher satisfaction rate with:  

– how their rights as workers are upheld

– their participation and inclusion at work

– individual outcomes and access to services, feedback and complaint opportunities.

  • Financial independence and skill development are the most prominent reasons  for people with disability having employment, regardless of whether this is supported or mainstream employment.
  • The challenges people with disability encounter in finding and maintaining   employment are frequently attributed to employers (or potential employers) having low levels of disability awareness.
  • A relatively low complaint rate exists amongst people with disability when they experience violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation or discrimination at work.
  • People with disability who access genU Employment Pathways gained new skills, greater confidence and an increased understanding of what is expected of them at work.
  • People with disability recognise that they bring different abilities to the workplace,    and advocate for these abilities to be seen simply as “different” not “less” and that they are entitled to equal employment opportunities.

The Client Family Voices Discussion Paper

Read the Discussion Paper via the links below:

Client and family voices on COVID-19 – Standard English

Client and family voices on COVID-19 – Easy Read

The experiences collated in this document primarily relate to communication, the provision of essential support and government and community supports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to share your experience with the Disability Royal Commission

You can share your experience with the Disability Royal Commission.  More information is available here.

Support services to assist you during the Disability Royal Commission

A number of Australian Government-funded services are available to assist people requiring support during the Disability Royal Commission. These services are provided through agencies external to the Royal Commission and include:

  • Legal Advisory Services
  • Emotional Support Services
  • Legal Financial Assistance Scheme
  • Advocacy Services

Further information on all these services is available here.

You can also contact the genU team on 1300 558 368.

About the Disability Royal Commission

The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of people with disability.

MatchWorks, and genU welcomed the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. We are an organisation committed to creating and delivering innovative services that empower people to reach their full potential. Violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation will not be tolerated by our organisation.

MatchWorks and genU have great confidence in the Royal Commission processes. We believe calling attention to, and investigating unacceptable practices in our sector, will strengthen services and systems. We also believe it will benefit those who use or work in disability services.

You can find more information about the Royal Commissions by visiting:

Disability Royal Commission

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System