Graduates with Disability

The Graduate Destinations Report (2015) indicates the rate of graduates with disability who are unemployed and seeking full time work is 23.5%, compared to students without disability at 11.3%

There are a number of resources, guides and services relevant to University graduates with disability seeking employment.

Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) via JobAccess

JobAccess is the national hub for workplace and employment information for people with disability, employers and service providers. JobAccess administers the Employment Assistance Fund. The EAF provides financial help for employers and eligible people with disability and mental health conditions to buy work related equipment, modifications and services (including Auslan interpreting in the workplace, on the job support and Disability Awareness Training).  JobAccess coordinate a national panel of assessors to conduct workplace assessments. JobAccess advise on workplace modifications and can tap into the Fund to reimburse the costs of eligible work related equipment and supports, to help employees with disability perform at their best.

Link: JobAccess – The Employment Assistance Fund

PACE Mentoring

PACE Mentoring is the Australian Network on Disability’s dynamic mentoring program designed to assist employers in engaging with students and job seekers with disability. It aims to assist students and job seekers with disability develop practical skills for their job search, build confidence in their abilities, and gain exposure to work environments. Participants meet with their mentor 6-8 times over a 12 week period, who provides guidance on how to achieve career goals. Applications for the Spring cohort of PACE Mentoring are open all year round and students & jobseekers can Apply Here. For more information about the program and eligibility requirements visit our website.

Stepping Into Internships

Stepping Into is the Australian Network on Disabilities paid internship program designed specifically for university students with disability who want to gain hands-on work experience in their chosen field of study. Students benefit significantly through gaining experience of the job application and interview process, developing a network of contacts within a professional organisation and having the opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge. Summer 2017/18 opportunities will be promoted from August 2017. For more information about the program and eligibility requirements visit our website.

University Specialist Employment Partnerships (USEP)

USEP is a National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) pilot program. Through a USEP partnership, a consultant is located on participating University campuses to support students with disability in their final year of study who would like to transition into graduate employment. This trial service is available to students with disability at participating universities in their final year of study, and students within one year of graduation.

USEP works proactively with the graduates and students, University teams, state governments, national employers, graduate portals, and other relevant programs including PACE & Stepping Into (where applicable) to produce the best possible employment result for University students with disability.

The USEP website & Facebook page contains articles, posts, and links to all things relating to graduate employment for people with disability.



Disability Employment Services
Disability Employment Services provide specialised assistance in areas such as job hunting, résumé writing, disability disclosure, workplace modifications, incentives to employers and on-the-job support.

These services are available to eligible Australians with disability, injury or ill health aged 14 to 65. Further information is available through the Department of Social Services (DSS) website.  You are still eligible to use Disability Employment Services if you are not receiving, or are eligible to receive, a payment from Centrelink.  At present, Disability Employment Services is not available for full time students.


Link: Department of Social Services – Disability Employment Services



RecruitAbility is an Australian Government scheme which aims to attract and develop applicants with disability and also facilitate cultural changes in selection panels and agency recruitment.

RecruitAbility can be applied to all vacancies across the APS, including Senior Executive Service roles.

Job applicants with disability who opt in to the scheme and meet the minimum requirements of a vacancy advertised under the scheme are advanced to a further stage in the selection process. Merit remains the basis for engagement and promotion.

Link: Australian Government APSC RecruitAbility

Education to Employment Toolkit

The Education to Employment Toolkit is designed for graduates with disability as well as employment and career services assisting finishing students and recent graduates with disability of Vocational Education and Training or Higher Education courses.

Employment outcomes for graduates with disability have been historically poor and there are changes that can be readily made to achieve improvements.

The Toolkit is aimed at overcoming key barriers, such as:

  • Lack of understanding of the transition needs of graduates with disability by employment and career services
  • Weak linkages between employment and career services
  • Employers’ reluctance to recruit graduates who have a disability and lack of awareness about technology and supports available to assist.


Link: Education to Employment Toolkit
Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET)

ADCET maintains a section for students which highlights links to programs, provides tips and suggestions, and maintains information and best practice guides for all things related to students with disability.

Link: ADCET – Graduate Employment


Readings & Links

Reading (2011): Careers for Graduates with Disability


Reading (2017): Survey Results Summary: University students with disability & Disability Employment Services

Link: Australian Human Rights Commission

Link: Australian Network on Disability