Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

Registrations close at 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday, 16 May

Let’s Get To Work Virtual Conference 2020

Jan Kruger speaking at our first virtual conference

Our goal for this conference was to help more people with a disability and their families to feel confident in seeking out meaningful paid employment that is embedded in community. We wanted people to understand that all people can work. We helped people see this is possible through sharing stories of young people in work. Discovering a person’s interests, strengths, skills and attributes and matching this to a work role is the first step.

Our Let’s Get To Work Virtual Conference, held from June 11 – July 16 2020, explored innovation in employment for people with disability. The Conference was free to attend, thanks to an NDIS Economic Participation ILC Grant. Over 680 people from around Australia and across the world registered to attend.

The global coronavirus pandemic made it necessary to hold this conference on a virtual platform. This meant we had to learn and master new technologies very quickly. Our invited presenters were all up to the challenge, and the conference was very well received by our global audience


Week 1: Why We Need To Talk About Employment


  • Jan Kruger
  • Jack Kruger
  • Cameron Zellner
  • Karen Caldwell
  • Gus Reichelt
  • Jacki Kearslake

Jan opened the Virtual Conference and provided some background information about employment for people with disabilities.

Cameron, Jack and Gus launched three short videos created as part of Imagine More’s work for the NDIS Economic Participation ILC Grant. Each tells a story about these young men and their employment journeys.

Watch the session about why we need to talk about employment

Week 2: Finding Work Through Connection and Community


  • Ann Greer
  • Jan Kruger

Ann discussed why work is so important, and why it’s essential to prepare for work early.

People with impairments will generally have different learning and movement styles. Systematic instruction of tasks is often required. Attention must also be paid to matching the most effective supports to the individual and the workplace.

One of the benefits of working is getting paid, so Ann discussed the meaning of money and how to support people with intellectual disabilities to budget.

Watch the session on finding work through connections and community

Week 3: Reimagining Supported Employment


  • Jeannie Hodges, Director, NDIA Participant Employment Taskforce,  National Disability Insurance Agency
  • Jan Kruger

Jeannie introduced the NDIA’s employment strategy for NDIS participants. She explained the five focus areas of the strategy, the first of which is to include employment goals in NDIS plans.

She explained why it’s important to think differently about customised employment. Jeannie also described why forming a microenterprise may be a key deliverable in future NDIS Plans.

Week 4 and 5: Customised Employment


  • Dr June Alexander PhD, MDisSt, BAppSc(DD), DipCommServ (FSW), CertIV (AWT)
  • Jan Kruger

Customised Employment is a process that matches a person with disability to the needs of an employer, creating a match in a customised job. It is based on identifying the strengths of a person with a disability through a process called ‘Discovery.’ It also includes a job development process and ongoing job training and supports.

Customised Employment considers the unique person, that is, their age, type of disability, interests and talents. It also recognising geographical location, support systems and resources. Good job matching leads to both individuals and companies enjoying the benefits of CE which results in employee retention.

Review the resources about customised employment

Week 6: From Little Things, Big Things Grow – Stories of Microenterprise


  • Freya and Donna Toussaint – Owners of Thinking Of You Gift
  • Joanne Lynam, Mother of Emma, The Master Shredder
  • Jan Kruger

Freya loves receiving and giving gifts. Donna has worked as a florist and in the arts industry all her life. Together the daughter-mother team are partners in a gift service and shop called Thinking Of You Gift, which operates at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Joanne shared the story of how her daughter, Emma, started her microenterprise, The Master Shredder. Joanne used her connections in the community to get the business started and then to grow.

Watch these stories of microenterprise