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Choosing and working with a DES provider

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Choosing a DES provider

Centrelink can give you information about the Disability Employment Services (DES) in your local area. When choosing a DES provider you may want to think about:

  • Have any of the providers helped people you know?
  • Do any of the providers have a good reputation with other people with intellectual disability? What do other people say about them?
  • When you meet them, do they listen to you?
  • Do they want to find the right job for you?
  • Which provider has the best rating and has more stars?

Many people with intellectual disability prefer a provider that has skills and experience in helping people with intellectual disability find and keep jobs. Even if they’re not the closest provider, they may be a better choice.

What do stars mean?

Every four months, the Australian Government gives each DES provider a star rating. You can tell how good a provider is by their star rating. The more stars they have, the better.

  • Stars show you how good a provider has been at helping people get a job.
  • Providers earn stars through good work. They can’t pay to get stars.
  • The Australian Government compares each provider to other providers in the same or nearby areas.
  • No stars could mean that the provider is new, and the Australian Government doesn’t know enough about them yet.

What do good DES providers do?

Good providers put a lot of effort into finding the right jobs for people. They do things like:

  • gather information about the work experience and skills you already have. They might contact your school and other services you have used
  • meet with you, your parents or an advocate
  • do work trials based on your interests to learn about the support you need
  • write a summary of all the information about you to find a job that’s right for you – this could be a ‘portfolio’ with photos, feedback and information about work experience and skills
  • make a list of possible employers that you can travel to by public transport from your home
  • talk to employers about you – so you don’t have to do this yourself
  • look carefully at your possible workplace to make sure it will be good for you
  • provide one-on-one support for you from your first day of work.

Some good providers use customised employment and Discovery to create jobs based on your skills and interests. These can be very successful approaches for people with intellectual disability.

You can change your mind

If you decide you don’t like the provider or the staff member who is helping you, you can ask to see someone else in the same office or find a new provider.

If you want to change providers, call the National DES Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

Disability Employment Services (DES) is the Australian Government’s employment service that can help people with disability find work and keep a job in open employment.
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