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This report documents key findings from the Improving Disability Employment Study (IDES) project. The project aimed to progress evidence on factors that promote sustainable and meaningful employment outcomes for people with disability who are participants in Disability Employment Services (DES).

IDES has demonstrated the importance of seeking the perspectives of DES participants, however, considerably more investment is needed so that future policies are informed by the experiences of people with disability. Given the enormous investments in employment services and the obvious benefits of employment for people with disability and broader society there is an urgent need to improve the evidence base.

Key recommendations:

  • Establishment of a larger cohort study of people with disability using employment services including NDIS supports, DES services and other employment programs (e.g: Jobactive/Workforce Australia) to identify what supports are most successful and test innovative approaches.
  • Qualitative studies to investigate key issues with different participant groups.
  • Interrogation of DES data linked to other administrative data such as Medicare, income support, housing data through the newly established National Disability Data Asset to investigate the impacts of employment services on non-employment outcomes.
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