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Down Syndrome NSW
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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Disabled workers at risk of losing jobs in Australia

We know that the economic crisis is biting deep throughout our communities. The Sun-Herald today reports on its effects in supported businesses employing workers with disabilities, and potential effects on families:

Ozanam Industries, a subsidiary of the St Vincent de Paul Society, employs more than 100 people with intellectual disabilities. Its business development manager, Rod Silber, said business had fallen 25 per cent in the past year. He urged governments in Australia to follow the lead of the United States, which employs more than 40,000 disabled workers to carry out contracts worth $2.3 billion under the Ability One scheme.

It should be compulsory for government departments to seek a quote from an agency with disabled employees, he said. "How can I expect the Commonwealth Bank to give me work if the damn government doesn't do it?"

Mr (Ian) Terry from the Phoenix Society (in SA) said if people with disabilities lost their jobs it would have a "multiplier effect" on parents and other carers.

Click here for the full report, by Caroline Marcus, and Alan Hollingworth's photo.

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