Transitioning Australian Disability Enterprises to open employment community hubs using the Australian legislative framework

Peter Smith, Peter Rhodes, Lauren Pavlidis, June Alexander, Keith McVilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The transition of sheltered workshops or Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) as they are known in Australia, to open employment settings unlike the USA lacks the legislative driver to encourage providers to move towards the promotion of integrated employment in the community. As a result, we have witnessed a move to rebadge ADE's as social enterprises in order to change public perceptions, without changes in wage outcomes or pathways to real work in the community. ADE's in Australia present as something of a challenge for government in trying to balance the competing provider agenda, against its obligations to people with a disability underpinned by the Disability Services Act (1986), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability and the establishment of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). OBJECTIVE: This paper will examine the policy drivers for change and findings from work undertaken by the Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice (CDERP) to promote provider transformation to integrated employment settings and the issues experienced in provider transformation within these policy settings. CONCLUSION: Education, ongoing support for employment staff and families, along with community partnerships are seen as ingredients for creating provider transformation and meaningful employment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019
Event2018 Annual APSE National Conference -
Duration: 26 Jun 2018 → …


  • bottom up
  • customised employment
  • employers
  • families
  • mentoring
  • NDIS
  • participants
  • Policy
  • safe harbour
  • security
  • top down
  • training
  • transformation
  • value stream mapping


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