accessible workplaces: Two cafe workers stand behind the counter, one is a man with down syndrome.

Funding boost for accessible workplaces

In April, the Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishwort announced that the Albanese government would make employing Australians with a disability easier with more funding for workplace modifications and Auslan service.

The Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) provides financial assistance for work-related modifications, equipment, disability awareness training and Auslan interpreting. Funding caps under the EAF have been in place since 2010 with no increase. 

This investment is aimed at complementing and encouraging the private sector to provide appropriate support for people with disability and ensure that economic participation for those with a disability is good for the individual and the company.

Under the changes, the funding cap for Auslan interpreting services for work-related activities – including remote interpreting, captioning and note-taking – will double from $6000 to $12,000 annually.

The building modifications cap will also be doubled from $30,000 to $60,000 to assist in funding lifts, wheelchair-accessible toilets, access ramps and automatic doors, among other modifications needed to remove barriers and create more jobs for people with disability. Funding caps under the EAF will also be indexed from 1 July 2023.

Further, the Government will scrap the requirement for funding applications to be made ahead of time for Auslan interpreters to be available at job interviews and related activities such as site visits, tests and information sessions. Applications can now be made up to five business days post-interview.

As reporting on the economic participation for people with disability begins through Australia’s Disability Strategy, the changes to the fund are hoped to drive improved employment outcomes.

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