Call For Papers

Please note that the Call for Papers submission period has now closed. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission during the week ending 5 May.

Submission Information

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

  • CEO/senior management
  • Capability development in DES sector
  • DES Operational/practitioner
  • NDIS workforce
  • Jobactive workforce
  • Disability advocacy and community stakeholders
  • Employer focus
  • Disability employment policy
  • Disability employment educational and research

Presentations should centre on:

  • Matters pertinent to the future of disability employment practice
  • Disability employment policy and best practice in 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

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 2023 national conference is focussed on the future of the DES program including disability employment policy, design, models, and practice.

DEA is looking at the core focus of quality services for participants and employers.

We are seeking your contributions and are now calling for papers to be presented at this year’s 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 1a: The future of disability employment policy:

  • The Disability Employment Centre of Excellence
  • The future of disability employment within the future of work policy
  • The Jobs and Skills Summit and the Employment White Paper
  • Digitalisation of employment services impacts on people with disability looking for work
  • National mental health reforms and improving employment outcomes
  • State, territory and local government disability employment policy and initiatives
  • The future of employment outcomes including 52-week outcomes and beyond
  • The Review of the Disability Services Act (1986)
  • 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 1b: The future of disability employment practice including better participant and employer strategies:

  • Delivery of Quality Services and driving quality enhancement
  • The National Disability Employment Strategy and its interaction with disability employment services
  • 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’ employer – how to reinvigorate the 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

Stream 2: The current DES program: compliance, outcomes, performance framework, operations

  • DES Star ratings and Performance Framework – where to now?
  • The new DES Quality Framework
  • Training and education as the pathway to improved employment opportunities
  • Improving DES guidelines: what works, what doesn’t
  • Ensuring the DES program works for participants and employers
  • Program assurance activity
  • The cost of running a DES in a ‘program assurance’ and ‘Right fit for Risk’ world
  • 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
  • Innovation and working effectively in a competitive market model

Stream 3: NDIS – Open Employment, Employment supports and pathways to independence

  • The future of the NDIS and the NDIS review
  • NDIS Participant Employment Strategy
  • Better use of the DES program for NDIS participants
  • ADE to Open Employment
  • NDIS and DES – how to work collaboratively
  • The updated School Leaver Employment Supports and the link with DES
  • Understanding barriers to employment throughout a participant’s life
  • 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
  • Participant choice and self-managed plans
  • Supports to connect young people to the workforce that are evidence-based, innovative, capacity building and outcomes-focused
  • 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: 27 March 2023
  • Deadline for abstracts is 21 April 2023 at 5pm AEDT
  • Receipt of abstracts will be acknowledged via email
  • You will be notified of acceptance by the week ending 5 May 2023
  • To be considered in the 2023 program, you must complete the online form and submit it on or before 21 April 2023.

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.

Discounted registration rate for speakers:

  •     One day rate: $700.00
  •     Two day rate: $1,050.00

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 Are Open!

Registrations for Disability Employment Australia's 2023 Conference are open. Please contact Conference Works on 03 9870 2611 if you have any queries.

Register Now

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