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Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE)

Back to the A-Z of open employment

An Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) is a type of employment support for people with disability who need significant support to work.

While open employment is open to everyone, most people with intellectual disability are employed in closed employment, like ADEs. The workers in ADEs are often only people with intellectual disability, who are usually paid much less than the national minimum wage. ADEs are generally not-for-profit and used to be called sheltered workshops.

There are benefits from working in open employment that you don’t get through working in an ADE. These benefits include higher wages, a better quality of life and more opportunities to develop your skills.

The Australian Government used to fund ADEs, but now they’re funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There are some new NDIS rules about how ADEs can provide more flexible support to people who might be interested in finding a job in open employment. These rules mean you can get frequent and ongoing on-the-job employment supports from any workplace you choose using funding from your NDIS plan. You can learn more about the change in NDIS supports for employment on the NDIS website, or ask about it at your next NDIS planning meeting.

A law that means employers can’t hire people for less than a certain hourly, daily or monthly wage.
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Open employment is when people with and without disability work together in regular jobs.
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The Australian Government-funded disability insurance scheme that funds supports for eligible people with disability.
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