By international standards, participation in paid work for Australians with disability is extremely low and evidence suggests that improving employment outcomes for people with disability will provide significant benefits to workplaces, the economy, and individuals themselves. With new changes coming about in 2018 including a greater focus on job seeker choice and control and a new funding model, it is an important time for us to begin disentangling the facilitators and barriers to employment for people with disability. Previous research on employment services for people with disabilities has collected data from service providers and employers and little is known about the important role played by employment services from the perspective of job seekers themselves. In this presentation we will present our findings from the Improving Disability Employment Study (IDES). IDES is a prospective cohort study of job seekers with disability, recruited through employment service providers. Specifically, the research project will find out about what aspects of ESPs, job seekers and workplaces make a difference to gaining and keeping employment. The findings from the research will help to make better government policy in this area and will help services better understand how they can support people with disability in finding employment.
University of Melbourne
Stefanie Dimov is the project coordinator on the Improving Disability Employment Study (IDES) conducted at the University of Melbourne. She has been working on the project for over a year, working closely with employment service providers and disability advocates in the field. Stefanie has a multi-disciplinary background in psychology and public health and extensive experience in project management. She has a strong interest in health and wellbeing in the context of disability and employment and her recent work aims to provide evidence that will inform policy and service delivery within the disability sector.