The Call for Papers for Disability Employment Australia’s Conference 2018 is now closed.

Submission Information

Presentations should relate to one of the following audience streams:

  •     CEO/Senior manager
  •     Capability development
  •     Operational/practitioner
  •     Educational and research
  •     Employer focus

Presentations should:

  • Specifically address issues surrounding disability and open employment and/or issues pertinent to the DES sector
  • Be constructed on evidence-based research, case studies and/or industry or organisational best practice
  • Provide clear, actionable and practical solutions, processes or information, and not be purely limited to theoretical frameworks
  • Showcase innovative or unique practices, knowledge and methodologies
  • Promote discussion and participant engagement, be interactive where possible and offer opportunities for professional development

Submissions should:

  • Clearly detail delegate outcomes for the session
  • Be clearly and effectively targeted at an identified audience stream
  • Be aligned with one of the conference themes


In 2018, for the first time ever, Disability Employment Australia’s Conference will be presented by our newly-launched Centre of Excellence. The conference will focus on evidence-based best practice and continuous improvement. The DES sector provides a specialist service to people with disability. We have been doing so for 30 years. That is 30 years of engaging with employers and the local community and focused on the employment supports we can provide people with disability.

What we don’t do so well is let our peers, the community and vested stakeholders know the best practice models we have developed, improved, adjusted and rebooted to keep on assisting people with disability into sustainable employment.

Disability Employment Australia is very interested in your best practice and how that operates in the new DES, the NDIS, the new jobactive, and wherever employment assistance for people with disability will increase their likelihood of entering the workforce, maintaining their employment and starting a career. Our conference wants to promote your best practice models!

We are always looking beyond our sector for innovative ideas and practices, both locally, nationally and from an international perspective. Disability Employment Australia’s Conference will showcase a range of innovative practices to assist you in your endeavours.

We will be receiving submissions within the following four themes:

  1. New DES participant engagement
  • Informed choice
  • Flexible servicing vs constraining compliance
  • Engaging community services
  • The new DES guidelines
  • Staffing for the future
  • Outcomes, quality service and participant expectations
  • Specialist vs generalist: working with different disability cohorts
  • Assessments
  • The rise of direct registrations and the decline of Centrelink referrals
  • Social media platforms
  • Finding the 240,000 participants
  • Innovation in attracting participants through the community and beyond
  1. New DES employer engagement
  • Why do employers engage with you?
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Collaborate to increase employer engagement
  • The DEA Employer Book
  • Why large employers matter
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Working with recruitment services
  • Disability employment confidence
  • Training pathways
  • The future of work
  • Marketing, branding, shining your shingle – go big or go bespoke
  1. NDIS Employment first – it’s time to make this happen
  • Introduction to the NDIS
  • School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)
  • Looking back, looking forward
  • DES and NDIS – the grey area
  • Local Area Co-ordinators – what are they?
  • Information, linkages and capacity building
  • I’m registered as a NDIS provider – how do I deliver?
  • Employment supports – what are they?
  • NDIS Support Coordination and building a participant’s capacity
  • The NDIS Pathway – a participant experience
  • The NDIS and employers
  • Early Childhood Intervention Partner – the link to early intervention
  1. Innovative practices in disability employment beyond DES
  • DES and employers – new ways of meeting each other’s need
  • The utilisation of modern technology to improve participant engagement and outcomes
  • Where are the jobs coming in the next 10 years?
  • Apps, iPhones, Androids and the DES participant
  • New ways of activating participants who are very long term unemployed
  • The digital revolution and its effect on employment – threat or opportunity?
  • Use of technology to reduce social isolation and increase participation
  • Building the capacity of Indigenous people with a disability
  • Innovation in service delivery to the needs of people with disability living in rural and regional communities
  • Better school to work and career transition
  • What can we learn from beyond Australia?
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the National Disability Strategy, and the future of disability employment

Submission and Selection Process

Important dates

The 2018 Call for Papers is now closed

  • Deadline for abstracts is 25 May 2018
  • Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged via email
  • You will be notified of acceptance during June 2018

To be considered in the 2018 program, you must complete the online form and submit it on or before the 25 May 2018.

All abstracts submitted to the conference committee will be considered in relation to the requirements of the conference program as well as the quality of the submission. The conference committee’s decision is final.

If you have any queries, please contact Disability Employment Australia on 03 9012 6000 or

Conference Speaker Rates

Presenters included in the conference program will be able to attend the conference at a reduced speaker’s rate. As Disability Employment Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, we are not in the position to cover airfares or accommodation. Please indicate if your expression of interest is entirely conditional on having some or all of your costs met.

Discounted conference rates are available for presenters and co-presenters.

Speaker rates:

  •     One day rate: $480
  •     Two day rate: $745

Who will 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