- Developing a pathway to work: You have never worked, or you haven’t worked for a long time and would like to start thinking about a plan and supports to get you the job you want.
- Moving from school to work: You, or your child, are at school and thinking about work.
- Getting a job: You are ready to look for a job.
- Thinking about self-employment: You are thinking about setting up your own business.
- Keeping a job: You need help to stay in your job.
- Changing jobs: You want to change jobs. This might mean a new employer or a new job with the same employer.
Read the information below to learn about employment supports for people who are on the autism spectrum or living with intellectual or psychosocial disability.
Choose which section(s) is most important for you. Thinking about your short and long term goals may be helpful.
Refer to the guide during meetings or appointments with your MyNDIS Contact or provider .
It is a good idea to have regular conversations with your provider(s) about the supports you receive.
This will help you better understand your progress and outcomes. We will also check in with you regularly in case anything changes.
Work is good for lots of reasons. You can earn money from work.
A job is often part of living a more independent life.
You can meet more people and make new friends when you have a job.
Working is an important part of feeling positive about your future.
Having a job is part of an ordinary life. You should be able to have a job and a career, if you want to.
People with a disability can find it harder to get and keep a job. It is important to us to support people with a disability to find a job, build a career and stay in work.
There are lots of different supports you can use to pursue your work goals.
These guides have information about different supports. The guides also tell you where to get more information.
When considering what supports you may need, remember that a support that works for someone might not work for a person with your disability and circumstances.
Our Guidelines - Work and Study has information about work or study now or in the future. It tells you how we make decisions, what we fund and what supports may be available outside your NDIS plan.
You can use the Let’s talk about work booklet to get ready for a conversation about work.
You can use it to record key information about your work capacity, strengths, barriers and challenges. It is also good to have with you at a planning meeting with your local area coordinator (LAC) or NDIS planner.
There are lots of places where you can find more information about employment.
Resources for participants
- Let’s talk about work booklet
- School leavers employment support
- School leaver employment supports booklet
- School leaver employment goals worksheet
- Supports in employment
- Our stories and videos about employment
- Our Guidelines: Work and study supports
- Employment support: Websites with more information Easy Read (PDF 2.16MB)
- Employment supports: Websites with more information Easy Read text only (DOCX 47.1KB)
Our research and strategy
- ‘Evidence review: Strategies to increase employment and economic participation for people with a cognitive disability’
- ‘Achieving a ‘sense of purpose’: pathways to employment for NDIS participants with intellectual disability, on the autism spectrum and/ with psychosocial disability’
- ‘Fostering employment for people with intellectual disability: the evidence to date’
- Employment strategy .
How do you record your choices?
We have a checklist to help you think about your supports.
You can use it to keep a record of what you have read, record questions and who may help you answer them.
You could use the checklist when planning:
- a meeting with your local area coordinator (LAC) or planner
- an appointment with your provider.
You can also take the checklist to your meeting and fill it out together.
We have a list of providers you can search on the Provider Finder webpage.
A provider is a person, business or organisation who delivers NDIS-funded supports and services to participants.
They have different areas of experience and knowledge so it’s important to find the right one for you.
Your NDIS planner, local area coordinator (LAC), support coordinator, psychosocial recovery coach, or other professionals can help you find a provider .
What to look for in a provider
Choose a provider who:
- listens to you and treats you as the expert in your own life
- asks you about your interests, needs and goals
- has a database that matches your interests and skills with employers
- offers to arrange work experience and/or on the job workplace training in a job that interests you
- knows what additional tasks you may be able to learn
- provides you with opportunities to build your work skills and work capacity
- has skilled staff with expertise in placing people like you in work
- identifies any changes to work routines you may need
- helps you develop strategies to address the concerns you have at work or to adapt to change
- gives you information about their successes helping people get, keep or change jobs.
Questions you can ask a provider
It can be useful to ask providers how they will work with you and your family and carers.
This can help you decide if they are the right provider for you.
You may have your own questions or you can ask questions like these:
Skills and experience
- How will you help me learn about supports that may be best for me now and in the future?
- What experience do you have in working with people on the autism spectrum, with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities?
- What outcomes can your supports, programs and activities provide me?
Working with you and your family and carers
- How will you work with me to meet my individual needs?
- What evidence will you use to help me decide on the best ways to meet my employment needs?
- Can you connect me with other people like me for peer support?
- How will I know if I am benefiting from this service?
- What will you do if I am not reaching the promised outcomes?
The ‘Let’s talk about work booklet’ also has some questions you can ask.
- What supports would you recommend based on the employment skills I need to develop?
- Do you provide one-on-one or group support?
- What qualifications do your staff have?
- What types of businesses or companies have you placed people in and what type of jobs are they doing?
- Will you arrange work experience for me in a job I am interested in?
- How many participants have you helped to get a job?
- How long do most of your participants stay in a job?
The information in the guides is from:
- high quality research evidence
- participant preferences
- provider expertise.
This is called using an evidence-informed framework.
Below, you can read more about the information in these guides.
These guides use research from a scientific review.
The review was written in 2021 by researchers from:
- University of Melbourne
- University of NSW Canberra
- Brotherhood of St Laurence.
The review has information about:
- people on the autism spectrum
- people with an intellectual disability
- people with a psychosocial disability.
The researchers looked at how different supports could improve opportunities for work for people with different disabilities.
The review also told us how these different supports are used in Australia.
The guides also use information from a research project .
We did this research to find out how the NDIA can support participants to find and keep a job.
The research looked at:
- participants with an intellectual disability
- participants on the autism spectrum
- participants with a psychosocial disability.
We spoke to participants, NDIS planners, local area coordinators (LAC) and NDIA representatives.
The guides also have information from a report by the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne about fostering employment for people with intellectual disability .
This guide can help you understand which supports you could use to help you pursue your work goals. It does not mean a support will be added to your plan.
It does not mean a support will be funded by the NDIS. Some of these supports are provided outside the NDIS.
All supports in your plan must meet our reasonable and necessary standards. This includes being value for money.
If you read this guide, you should also read work and study supports.