[Excerpt] The Quality Strategy for disability employment and rehabilitation services is part of a reform agenda announced in the 1996-1997 Federal Budget with the overall aim of improving the participation of people with disabilities in the workforce. The Quality Strategy was designed to address issues raised in a 1997 report, Assuring Quality, prepared by the Disability Quality and Standards Working Party.
The goal of the Quality Strategy is to ensure that people with disabilities can seek assistance and support from a range of Australian Government-funded employment services certified against the Disability Services Standards. The aims of introducing the Quality Strategy were to improve service quality and to guarantee that people with disabilities could access appropriate quality services that provide high level and appropriate support. The introduction of the Quality Strategy reinforced the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities can access the same rights and opportunities as other Australians, including being appropriately supported in the workplace.
The Quality Strategy has three components:
◗ a quality assurance system (introduced on a voluntary basis from 1 January 2002 and legislated from 1 July 2002, now applying to all disability employment services and CRS Australia);
◗ continuous improvement activities; and
◗ complaints and referrals mechanisms (the Complaints Resolution and Referral Service and the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline).