The Call for Papers for Disability Employment Australia’s Annual Conference 2017 is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract, we will be in contact soon with the outcome of your submission.

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


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 working title is: the future is what we make it. 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

Submission and Selection Process

Important dates

  • Deadline for abstracts is 28th of April 2017
  • Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged via email
  • You will be notified of acceptance during June 2017

To be considered in the 2017 program, you must complete the online form and submit it on or before the 28th of April 2017.

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