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In an effort to boost disability employment opportunities the Labor Government is increasing funding for Auslan services and building modifications to make workplaces more accessible.

The investment is intended to encourage the private sector to provide appropriate supports for people with disability with work-related modifications across equipment, disability awareness training and Auslan interpreting.

Under the changes, the funding cap for Auslan interpreting services for work-related activities, including remote interpreting, captioning and note taking, will double from $6,000 to $12,000 annually and building modifications double to $60,000 to assist in funding lifts, wheelchair accessible toilets, access ramps and automatic doors. Funding caps under the Employment Assistance Fund will be indexed from July 1, 2023.

The requirement for funding applications will be scrapped to enable Auslan interpreters to be available at job interviews and related activities such as site visits, tests and information sessions, with applications now possible up to five business days post-interview.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the unemployment rate for Australians with disability has not shifted in 30 years. “Previously, employers sometimes chose not to proceed with a modification if they couldn’t afford to cover the gap once they hit the $30,000 limit and we want to ensure that barrier is removed. No one should miss out on a job interview, test or information session because they could not access Auslan interpreting services or their employer couldn’t afford modifications required,” the minister said.

For more information on the EAF and how to apply, visit: Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) | JobAccess or call JobAccess on: 1800 464 800.