Welcome to 
Disability Employment Australia’s Conference

Disability Employment Australia’s Conference is presented by Disability Employment Australia.

The 2018 conference will be held on 4 – 5 September 2018 at Hilton Adelaide.

You can view the program here.

Download our 2017 conference handbook


About the Conference

Disability Employment Australia’s Conference is presented by Disability Employment Australia. This year’s conference will take place from 4 – 5 September 2018 in Adelaide.

Disability Employment Australia’s Conference is Australasia’s premier conference for managers, aspiring managers, practitioners, and academics working in or with the Disability Employment Services sector.

Last year’s conference was held in Brisbane on 6 – 7 September 2017.

As part of its ongoing commitment to industry development and growth, Disability Employment Australia provides delegates with opportunities to think, question and respond to a range of critical issues in ways that are meaningful to their organisations, people with disability, employers and the industry more broadly.


This year’s conference will examine the future of disability employment and the new DES program. The conference will be guided by four themes. These themes are choice and control, competition and contestability, employer engagement, and service quality.

The conference title is: Seize the Day! As the unknowns become known, the details emerge and organisations model and remodel their operational, financial and strategic plans, the DEA Annual Conference is a dynamic meeting place of ideas and practices to take you into 2018 and beyond. For two days the DEA Conference will guide you through capacity building aligned to both the new DES and the broader landscape of disability employment in Australia.

The conference programme will include debates, research and innovative practices across the following areas:

  • Choice and control in similar sectors (e.g. aged care, disability services, mental health and social housing)
  • How to prepare for the future (e.g. ‘getting burnt and lessons learnt’ – sectors that have undergone major change)
  • Can collaboration and competition coexist?
  • Engaging participants, engaging community services, and providing quality service in a market model
  • Best practice working with participants with challenging behaviours
  • Innovation and utilisation of modern technology to improve participant outcome rates
  • Effective employer engagement – meeting the needs of small, medium and large business
  • Risk and opportunities for the future of the DES program – where will we be in five years’ time?
  • International experience – improving employment outcomes for people with disability
  • Employment for different disability cohorts
  • Career development for people with disability
  • Early intervention, work experience, part time jobs and the transition from school to work
  • Equity and service quality in regional, rural and remote areas
  • The regulatory framework, performance framework and provider expectations in the new DES
  • The intersection between the new DES and the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the National Disability Strategy, and the future of disability employment

Who should attend?

Anyone with an interest in employment assistance for people with disability including:

  • Disability Employment Services
  • jobactive
  • People with disability
  • Advocates
  • Training organisations
  • Policy makers
  • Researchers
  • Employers and their representatives
  • Academics

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