Welcome to 
Disability Employment Australia’s Conference

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

The 2019 conference will be held on 28-29 August 2019 at Crown Perth. Registrations are open now.


The conference dedicated to significantly increasing open employment outcomes for people with disability

Program information

Our 2019 national conference is the ideal gathering of those central and significant to the future planning and future proofing of disability employment policy, design, model and practice. And that means you!

We know that the key to the future of disability employment is the DES program, the DES sector, and DES expertise. However, DEA, as a national leader in this dialogue, asks its members, committed stakeholders, and conference delegates to look well beyond thinking about a DSS-commissioned iterative program and into what you know as evidence-based best practice.  What works to get significantly more people with disability into sustainable employment?

As always there will be a focus on starting with the person, the employer, and the DES provider. We want to hear more about working with families, community, departments and governments. We also want to bring more universities to the table, and to look beyond Australia for good ideas. Very quickly 2019 will turn into 2022. In light of this want to be able to stand proud with you knowing that the workforce participation rate for people with disability has risen and that we have played our part.

The 2019 DEA conference is focused on the future of disability employment in Australia. It is the only conference in Australasia dedicated to bringing the best of the best together to continue to improve on significantly increasing open employment outcomes for people with disability.

We need your contributions. We are calling for papers to be presented at this year’s conference. We are looking for evidence-based, best practice, results-driven presentations. This is your chance to showcase initiatives that demonstrate improved employment outcomes for people with disability. This year, we are not only asking DES providers to deliver presentations. We are asking every interested stakeholder to consider submitting a paper. We are asking people with disability, advocates, families, employers, NDIS providers, jobactive providers, training organisations, career counsellors, academics and more. The 2019 DEA conference is your platform to share, inform and explore a range of topics relating to the future of disability employment in Australia.

The future of disability employment conversation is already happening. It demands your input. The 2019 DEA conference is the ideal time to get involved. Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity!

The conference is canvassing many themes (see below). Please acknowledge the stream that your paper is responding to in your proposal submission.

Stream 1: The new DES: change, compliance, contract impacts 

  • The new guidelines: impacts of latest changes
  • Program assurance
  • The new DES performance framework
  • Outcomes, quality service and participant expectations
  • Targeted compliance framework
  • Attracting participants – the untapped referral pool – where and how?
  • Impacts of the DES funding level tool
  • Choice and control and empowering participants
  • Innovation and working effectively in a competitive market model
  • Engaging frontline staff: Person-centered approach, employer engagement and community

Stream 2: Engaging employers

  • Innovate practices in working with employers
  • Working with large employers
  • Marketing and branding in your community
  • Building disability employer confidence
  • Challenging perspectives: how the employer, jobseeker, provider can better walk the talk
  • Marketing of DES services to employers–what works?
  • Provider collaboration and employer engagement

Stream 3: NDIS – Employment supports as the pathway to independence

  • Supports to connect young people to the workforce that are evidence-based, innovative, capacity building and outcomes-focused
  • The role of School Leaver Employment Supports and proposed Youth Employment Supports
  • Improving NDIS employment supports:
  1. Understanding barriers to employment throughout a participant’s life
  2. Exploring opportunities with participants, families and the sector
  3. Planning the right supports that lead to more confident entry to work
  4. Focusing on older participants re-joining, entering or leaving the workforce

Stream 4: Future proofing disability employment policy and practice

  • How does the future of disability employment fit within the larger future of work policy
  • Programs vs. individual supports
  • Collaboration is not a dirty word
  • Jobactive reforms and people with disability
  • Where can/does employment fit in the national mental health reforms?
  • The role of state, territory and local government in disability employment
  • Training as the pathway to improved employment opportunities
  • Are we ready to talk careers rather than 52 week outcomes?
  • The role of research: The sector as a leader or follower

About the Conference

Disability Employment Australia’s Conference is presented by Disability Employment Australia. Last year’s conference was held on the 4 – 5 September 2018 in Adelaide.

The 2018 Conference Handbook can be downloaded here.

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.

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.


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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