Psychosocial Disability and Employment

Project Details

The focus of this study is the life circumstances of job seekers with psychosocial disability and their engagement with Disability Employment Services.

Australians with disabilities are less likely to have access to employment compared to people without disabilities (53% vs 83%). Persons with psychosocial disability have the lowest labour force participation rates (29%) and the highest unemployment rate (19%).

This study aims to explore whether and how the life circumstances of job seekers with psychosocial disability are influenced by their engagement with government funded Disability Employment Services (DES) providers. This study is taking place in the context of the DES sector reforms introduced in 2018.


Ms Alex Devine, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Professor Anne Kavanagh, Disability and Health Unit, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan, Gender and Women's Health Unit, University of Melbourne


Ostara Australia


PhD Scholarship through the Improving Disability Employment Study

Research Outcomes

Does disability policy really offer choice and control?

Research Publications

Devine A, Dickinson H, Brophy L, Kavanagh A & Vaughan C. ‘I don’t think they trust the choices I will make.’ – Narrative analysis of choice and control for people with psycho-social disability within reform of the Australian Disability Employment Services program. Public Management Review Jul 2019

Research Group

School Research Themes

Data science, health metrics and disease modeling, Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.