All About Employment: Discovering Disability Employment Services

14 October 2020

What is DES?

Disability Employment Services (DES) is the Australian Government’s employment service that supports people with disability to find and keep a job.

The program does not require any National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding, although NDIS funding can be used to develop skills that assist in employment, such as orientation and mobility, adaptive technology, and occupational therapy.

Through DES, eligible people with disability, injury or health condition can receive help to prepare for, find and keep a job.

This can include career advice, employment preparation, networking, resume development, mock interviews, strategic planning, discussion of wage subsidies and training.

Once employed, DES provides post placement support to ensure employment is maintained and to address any issues that may arise.

DES can provide ongoing support at work through the WorkAssist program, including funding for necessary workplace modifications.

Why should you access DES through Vision Australia?

Most DES providers are generalists. This means that they work with people of all disabilities. Vision Australia DES only works with individuals whose primary disability is vision.

This means that our employment consultants have education and experience in working with people who are blind or have low vision.

Our employment consultants have a strong knowledge of working with jobseekers who are blind ort have low vision and are aware of the unique challenges our clients face when seeking or maintaining employment.

They are also aware of the concerns of employers, and the local job market.

Two men sit next to each other across from another man
Caption: Vision Australia employment consultants like Rob, left, support clients like Grant, right, to find and maintain employment.

How to get the most out of DES

When a jobseeker registers with Vision Australia DES, they will meet with their employment consultant.

Together, they will develop a strategy for either gaining or maintaining employment. These plans are individualised to each person’s situation, skills, and goals. The jobseeker and employment consultant will work as a team to reach employment goals and meet on a regular basis.

To ensure that you get the most of your appointments, it’s important you remain in contact with your employment consultant, discuss your progress, re-evaluate goals, and explore different methods to develop or market skills.

DES appointments can also include group meetings regarding employment topics, mentoring, mock interviews, or involvement in training to develop technical or practical skills.

Offices that offer DES

Vision Australia offers DES in the following locations:

  • VIC: Dandenong, Geelong, and Kensington
  • NSW: Ashfield, Caringbah, and Parramatta
  • QLD: Coorparoo and Robina
  • ACT: Canberra
  • WA: Perth

Further resources:


All About Employment is a series of articles to assist Vision Australia clients and the public with various topics about employment.

Read more from the All About Employment series: