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The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 2017 launched its inaugural RISE at DHHS Program. The RISE at DHHS Program created career opportunities for people on the autism spectrum to work for DHHS as Records Management Officers.

The pre-selection and training and assessment programs were tailored so that candidates were provided with simulated tasks aligned with what would be required in the workplace. The program was hugely successful and won a TechDiversity award in 2018.

Pilot study into the RISE at DHHS Program

Taking the time to understand individual needs, providing professional development opportunities and training managers and co-workers were all factors that contributed to the program success, according to La Trobe University’s pilot study. The award-winning program is the first example of the State Government providing leadership in its own employment practices by employing people on the autism spectrum, which was one of the recommendations from the 2017 Victorian Government Inquiry into services for people with autism spectrum disorder.

DHHS autistic employees talk about their roles

RISE at DHHS Program wins TechDiversity Award

The RISE at DHHS program – a very deserving award winner. 30km of paper to index and archive – important records of former wards of the state, people who had been in state institutions, anytime in the last 100 years. 

“The support and enthusiasm of Nick, Brett and Natalie from Specialisterne has been fantastic. I knew nothing about autism or being on the spectrum prior to engaging in this program. To think these talented individuals were being overlooked for positions due to standard selection processes is criminal. I appreciate being educated and made aware…”

Manager Services Australia

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