Innovative Employment

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Having a job develops a socially valued role and a meaningful place in our community. You gain a better sense of what is happening in your neighbourhood, build on your independence and feel that you a truly part of something.

At Valued Lives, we believe that everyone can get a job. Although people with complex disabilities are disadvantaged by traditional job-seeking practices, we enable employment opportunities.

Unlike traditional approaches that start with a job, we start by understanding you and discovering your uniqueness. This approach identifies your strengths through a process called ‘Discovery.’ Discovery uncovers likes and dislikes, skills, connections in the community, and seeks to uncover the environments a person thrives in.

A key part of Discovery is to turn everyday activities into job opportunities by gaining an understanding of an individual’s work interests, conditions for success and potential contributions. Discovery is a seven-step process.

The Valued Lives Specialist Employment Coaches and Mentors will walk with you at every step of this journey.  This coaching and mentoring may be individualised or through our group sessions. Just as you are unique, so too is the path that you may journey.

Once Discovery is complete, we work on a development process, referred to as Job Creation.  Job creation may see you develop a microenterprise business of your own, undertake work experience, or we may work with you and a potential employer to design a bespoke role for you. 

Here is some more information on some of those pathways:


Take a minute to enjoy this series of 60-second documentaries about people with disability who have set up, or are in the process of setting up, their own microenterprise.

These videos showcase the power of possibility for individuals to pursue their passions through their microenterprise journeys.

Benno’s Wood Burning Microenterprise

60 Seconds of Benno’s Microenterprise making woodburnt art pieces

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Declan’s Microenterprise

60 Seconds of Declan’s Microenterprise making planes and ginger beer

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Shanthi’s Microenterprise

60 Seconds of Shanthi’s Microenterprise making cards and dancing

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Teagan’s Microenterprise

60 Seconds of Teagan’s Microenterprise making dog treats

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Job Design Benefits

The benefits of Job Design include:

  • Individual retention: Employees with disability stay on the job 4 months longer on average than those without disability
  • Whole of staff retention: Staff turnover is lower by up to 30% when a well-run disability community outreach program is in place
  • Savings: Employers reap $40 savings for every $1 invested in workplace adjustments
  • Productivity: 61% of employers consider productivity a benefit of hiring people with disability
  • Safety: People with disability have 34% fewer accidents than other employees
  • Impact: Your organisation demonstrates wider impact, by transforming the lives of people with a disability


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