Call For Papers

Disability Employment Australia advises that the Call for Papers submission period is now closed.

If you have already submitted an abstract, you will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by the week ending Friday 19 April 2024.

For more information, please contact our Policy Manager, David Best at

Submission Information

Presentations should relate to one or more of the following audience streams:

  • CEO / senior management
  • Capability development in the Disability Employment sector
  • DES operational/practitioner
  • NDIS workforce
  • University Academics
  • Workforce Australia sector
  • Disability advocacy and community stakeholders
  • People with Disability
  • Employer focus
  • Disability employment policy
  • Disability employment educational and research

Presentations should centre on (this list is not exclusive):

  • Matters pertinent to the future of Disability Employment Service delivery and practice including employer engagement.
  • Disability employment policy and best practice in open employment and/or issues pertinent to the current DES program and broader disability employment sector
  • Increasing sector staff development and skills
  • The emerging intersection between NDIS (participant employment supports and the updated Youth Employment Supports) as well as DES expertise and supported employment changes
  • Workforce Australia and other mainstream employment service models for people with disability such as Transition to Work and ParentsNext

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 2024 Conference is focused on the future of Disability Employment including the DES program, and centred on an evolving disability employment policy, design, models, and practice.
  • The Disability Employment Services program is likely to be under a tender / purchasing process in the second half of 2024.
  • DEA is looking at the core focus of quality services for participants and employers as well as achievement of employment goals.
  • We are seeking your contributions and are now calling for papers to be presented at the 2024 DEA Conference. We have listed a range of core themes and invite papers on these.
  • 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 future of disability employment policy:

  • Changing ‘ecosystem’ of employment support for People with Disability
  • Impacts of the DRC Recommendations, the NDIS Review, the Employment White Paper, and the Workforce Australia review. What does it all mean?
  • The Disability Employment Centre of Excellence
  • Sector development and training – do we need a minimum requirement?
  • The future of disability employment within the Future of Work policy
  • Analysis of the Jobs and Skills Summit and the Employment White Paper
  • Digitalisation of employment services and impacts on people with disability looking for work
  • What does goal orientated employment look like?
  • National mental health reforms and improving employment outcomes
  • State, territory and local government disability employment policy and initiatives
  • The future of employment outcomes including 13, 26 and 52-week outcomes and beyond
  • The Disability Services and Inclusion Bill (2023)
  • Disability Royal Commission impact on the DES program 
  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and Article 27
  • The future of ADEs and the transitioning participants to open employment
  • The future of employment via social enterprise and other programs – how do these fit together?
  • Community attitudes and closing the workforce participation gap for people with disability
  • Case studies of changing employer attitudes and practices

Stream 2: The future of disability employment practice including better participant and employer strategies:

  • DES 2025 – what do we know
  • DES 2025 – Focus on purchasing and tenders
  • Delivery of Quality Services and driving quality enhancement
  • What does a DES Service look like in 2025? Face-to-face servicing, hybrid servicing?
  • Sector development
  • Interim and longer-term performance frameworks within DES
  • Employ My Ability and the Disability Employment Strategy – how is this working and what is its interaction with disability employment.
  • Working with large employers – how to make the relationship work longer term
  • Marketing and branding in your employer community
  • Building disability employer confidence
  • Challenging perspectives: how the employer, jobseeker and provider can intersect
  • The role of ongoing support – the interface between employers and keeping people with disability in work
  • Challenging employers to use Disability Employment Services?
  • Better use of employer incentives including wage subsidies
  • The ‘burnt’ and or reluctant employer – how to invigorate and / or reinvigorate a relationship?
  • How can ‘Collaboration’ work more effectively across the broader sector?
  • Jobs and Skills Australia and interaction with People with Disability
  • Effective strategies for participants with disability who are registered with Workforce Australia
  • Innovate practices in working with employers
  • Current challenges in becoming an effective digital or hybrid employment service for people with disability
  • Training as the pathway to improved employment opportunities
  • Transition of supported employment – what works?

Stream 3: The current DES program: compliance, outcomes, performance framework, operations:

  • Transitioning now – and new models of delivery
  • The DES Performance Framework – combination of the three KPIs and moving into 2025 and beyond
  • Review of the first months of the new DES Quality Framework
  • Training and education as the pathway to improved employment opportunities.
  • Effective models for participants including achievement of employment goals
  • Improving DES guidelines: what works, what doesn’t
  • Guidelines for DES post-2025
  • Wage subsidies
  • Ensuring the DES program works for participants and employers
  • Program assurance activity
  • Employment outcomes, quality service and participant expectations
  • The future of mutual obligation and the targeted compliance framework
  • Attracting participants – the untapped referral pool – where and how?
  • Building the capacity of Indigenous people with a disability
  • The role of state, territory, and local government in disability employment
  • Choice and control and empowering participants
  • Engaging frontline staff: Person-centred approach, employer engagement and community

Stream 4: NDIS – Open Employment, Employment Supports, Youth Employment Supports, Supported Employment Transition and pathways to independence:

  • Changes to NDIS delivery following the NDIS Review
  • The NDIS Participant Employment Strategy and Action Plan
  • Better use of the DES program for NDIS participants
  • Interaction between Youth Employment Supports to increase open employment outcomes
  • ADE to Open Employment – how is the supported employment sector changing
  • NDIS, LACs, Support Coordinators and DES – how to better work collaboratively
  • Understanding barriers to employment throughout a participant’s life
  • Analysis of the effectiveness of the NDIS to date
  • Exploring opportunities with participants, families, and the sector
  • Planning the right supports that lead to more confident entry to work
  • NDIS and better planning by services for participants
  • The increasing impact of the NDIS and employment in the disability sector
  • Accessing participants with self-managed plans
  • Employment supports for mature-aged participants
  • Evidence-based, innovative, capacity building and outcomes-focused supports that assist young people with disability find and keep a job

Submission and Selection Process

Important dates

  • Opening date: Monday 20 November 2023
  • Deadline for abstracts: Friday 15 March 2024 at 5pm AEDT
  • Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged via email
  • You will be notified of acceptance by Friday 19 April 2024

Additional Information

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 Registration

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

The discounted Registration rate for speakers is:

  •     One Day Registration: $770
  •     Full Conference Registration: $1,150

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

Registrations now open!

Registrations for the Disability Employment Australia 2024 Conference are now open. Please contact Conference Works on 03 9870 2611 if you have any queries.

Presenter suggestions

Who would you like to hear from at Conference? Share your suggestions here.

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