Australian society is experiencing social and cultural changes when it comes to the inclusion of people with disability. The megatrends that will shape the future of providing services for people with disability are the technological revolution, new skills required for future employment, the cultural changes that are taking place and the demographic shifts occuring in Australia since the introduction of the NDIS.
The technological revolution, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution as it is called, has brought digitalisation, artificial intelligence, automation and robotics. All have the potential to improve the quality of life for people with disability but not without significant challenges and changes in mindset.
The future of providing services that people with disability want is not only affected by the impact of these new technologies but also by cultural change and demographic shifts. Concepts such as work-life balance, social values, responsible and ethical labour relations, career development and employment transition need to be incorporated into service provision models not just for customers but for service providers too. The future of services for people with disabilities should include broader skill developments such as critical thinking, analytical capacity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility.
Considering the high level of unemployment of people with disability in Australia and the negative economic impact of poor workforce participation and mental health in the workplace, as well as the benefits in addressing it, there is a strong business case in tackling issues relating to the greater inclusion of people with disability in both setting policy and program direction for how services and support are provided.

Donna Purcell
Commonwealth Bank Australia

Biography: Donna works at Commonwealth Bank In the Customer and Community Advocacy Team as Senior Manager Accessibility and Capability Advice. Donna is a certified Access Consultant and as a person who is blind and a guide dog user, has lived experience of disability.
She is a Director for two NFP Boards: Northcott Society and Australian Network on Disability.

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