We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: focus on ability. It’s so central to NOVA Employment that our annual short film competition (www.focusonability.com.au) showcases and celebrates the power of these three words.

Each film gives us an example – and there are thousands more out there in the community – of what can be achieved when people with disability aim high with their goals.

It makes no sense to exclude people from the talent pool.

‘We will no longer have workers with intellectual disabilities working in Dickensian conditions,’ Maurice Blackburn partner Josh Bornstein said on Friday.

A triumph!

Finally, a fair wage for a fair day’s work, even at Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs). After years of nonsense hopefully the exploitation of people with disability will end.

Mind you, some of this is a problem of the government and both political parties’ making. The system for calculating ADE-worker wages, known as the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT), gave ADE service providers consistently lower productivity results, thus justifying the appallingly low wages. (Yes, the $1 an hour.)

Though the federal government system is in violation of anti-discrimination laws, there will still be an outcry from some. ‘They're happy there!' and even ‘This is better than nothing.' And many will wonder, ‘What else can they do?’

I was so proud to be a part of NOVA Transition's graduation celebrations last week! 

TTW is a two-year program designed to prepare school leavers for the workforce. And it does this very well, if I do say so myself.

In 2016, NOVA found award-wage work or further education for 82 young Sydney-siders with a disability in hospitality, childcare, administration, warehousing, retail, horticulture, construction, hairdressing and the auto industry. Seventeen of these jobs were apprenticeships or traineeships. Six of these jobs were full-time roles. All of these jobs were in open employment with the same conditions and pay as everyone else.

That's right: the same conditions and pay as everyone else. It's not too much to ask.