The Call for Papers for Disability Employment Australia’s Conference 2019 has now closed.

Submission Information

Presentations should relate to one of the following audience streams:

  • CEO/senior management
  • Capability development
  • Operational/practitioner
  • NDIS workforce
  • Policy, advocacy and community stakeholders
  • Educational and research
  • Employer focus

Presentations should centre on:

  • Issues surrounding disability and open employment and/or issues pertinent to the DES sector
  • The emerging intersection between NDIS (participant employment supports) and DES expertise
  • jobactive and other mainstream employment service models for people with disability in relation to issues pertinent to the future of disability employment practice

Submissions should:

  • 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


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 are seeking your contributions. We are now 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 your initiatives that demonstrate improved employment outcomes for people with disability.

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

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

Submission and Selection Process

Important dates

The 2019 Call for Papers is now closed!

  • Deadline for abstracts is 17 May 2019
  • Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged via email
  • You will be notified of acceptance during June 2019

To be considered in the 2019 program, you must complete the online form and submit it on or before the 17 May 2019.

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: $530
  •     Two day rate: $795

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