The Ten Demandments throws down the challenge to all people associated with employment for people with a disability to lift our game. Currently, job seekers with a disability are not being well served by structures, processes, employment services or employers, resulting in what psychologist and disability activist Wolfy Wolfensberger referred to as 'the wound of a wasted life'.
As CEO of one of the most effective disability employment services in Australia, the job seekers I come across are keen and able to work. They just need to develop workplace skills, confidence and some guidance in the right vocational direction. The right to work is a basic human right that is largely denied this huge section of the world's population. The Ten Demandments outlines ten main steps to take for the industry, governments, individuals and their carers to ensure improved quality of service. The demandments aspect is not tongue in cheek. We must demand better of our governments, ourselves and each other.
Currently a lot of people are making a lot of money from the behind the façade of Disability Employment Services. I should know! Working in a disability employment service means I am tempted by the same subsidies, the same motivations and the same solutions as the rest of the industry. No one has asked these ten questions as directly or as clearly as I do in this book, or from inside the industry.
Readers from within the industry will want to cringe away from and deny the truths revealed within The Ten Demandments. Readers from outside the industry will raise their arms in shame. And they're right to do so. People's lives are at stake. Through lack of realistic employment options, we are at risk of continuing to waste people with disability's lives.
The Ten Demandments is a clear, accessible, ten-step guide challenging readers to alter their attitude and approach to disability employment services, be they policy makers, educators, employers, carers or the workers themselves. Often attitudinal change is the hardest part.
With a foreword by U.S. author and disability activist Dale DiLeo and an endorsement from Vivienne Riches from the University of Sydney’s Centre of Disability Studies, this resource will enable even an uninitiated person to identify the supports essential for successful transition from welfare recipient to proud employee.