How the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) Supports Accessible Workplaces

How the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) Supports Accessible Workplaces

UPDATE 13 April 2023: EAF funding increased

The Australian government is increasing funding for the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) to make workplaces more accessible for Australians with disabilities.

The changes to the EAF funding caps, the first in 13 years, will double the funding for Auslan interpreting services for work-related activities to $12,000 annually and for building modifications to $60,000 to fund lifts, wheelchair-accessible toilets, ramps, and automatic doors.

The changes aim to complement and encourage the private sector to provide appropriate support for people with disabilities and to remove barriers to employment for those with disabilities. The funding caps under the EAF will also be indexed from 1 July 2023.

The government will also remove the requirement for funding applications to be made ahead of time for Auslan interpreters to be available at job interviews, site visits, tests, and information sessions.

For more information, see the Minister’s press release here.

What is the Employment Assistance Fund?

The Australian Government has a range of programs and initiatives designed to support people with disabilities in the workforce. One of these programs is the Employment Assistance Fund (EAF), which provides financial assistance to eligible workers to help cover the costs of workplace modifications and assistive technology.

What can the EAF be used for?

The EAF can be used to cover the costs of a range of workplace modifications and assistive technology, including:

  • Equipment and software to assist with communication e.g. Assistive Listening Devices
  • Auslan interpreting for work-related activities
  • Disability awareness training for the workplace (including deafness awareness)
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Specialised chairs or desks
  • Mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or crutches
  • Modified workstations or work tools
  • Disability awareness training for the workplace (including deafness awareness)
  • Modifications to buildings or facilities to improve accessibility eg hearing loop installations

Who is eligible for the EAF?

To be eligible for the EAF, a worker must have a disability that affects their ability to do their job and require modifications or assistive technology to perform their duties. The worker must also be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid visa that allows them to work in Australia.

How to apply for the EAF?

To apply for the EAF, workers should contact JobAccess, which will provide guidance on the application process and the documentation required to support the application. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and decisions are made within 10 working days.

For more information, see the government’s EAF website.

 

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