IDES: Improving Disability Employment Study

Project Details

This project aims to address the unmet need for an evidence-base on strategies to enable people with disability to gain sustainable and meaningful employment; that they are encouraged to engage in gainful employment, and that they are not ousted from the labour market too easily and too early. It is anticipated that the project will identify how the characteristics of employment services, jobseekers, and workplaces affect employment outcomes.

The research findings will enable partner organisations to contribute to policy development and service sector reform in relation to delivery of effective employment service models for people with disability, as well as inform employers regarding barriers to employment and recommendations to overcome these.

Project Website

Project Contact


Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Allison Milner, University of Melbourne (1983-2019)
Professor Anthony LaMontagne, Deakin University
Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Rebecca Bentley, University of Melbourne
Professor Helen Dickinson, University of New South Wales
Ms Alexandra Devine, University of Melbourne 
Ms Stefanie Dimov, University of Melbourne


Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, 2017-2020

Research Outcomes

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

Devine A, Vaughan C & Kavanagh A."If I had stable housing I would be a bit more receptive to having a job". Factors influencing the effectiveness of Disability Employment Services reform. Work 2020;65(4):775-787. 10.3233/WOR-203130

Devine A, Vaughan C, Kavanagh A, Dickinson H, Byars S, Dimov S, Gye B & Brophy L. "I'm proud of how far I've come. I'm just ready to work": mental health recovery narratives within the context of Australia's Disability Employment Services. BMC Public Health 2020 20:325 2020  10.1186/s12889-020-8452-z

Research Group

School Research Themes

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

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