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What Works?
Employment for people with intellectual disabilities
“Jobsupport is a very important part of my working career and I am so grateful they are there for me and of course for other people"
Gerren, Service Assistant
Jobsupport is the leading employment service in Australia for people with intellectual disability
“I generally sort and file the resident’s medical documents, it’s a very important job. I like the fact I have a routine at work and I earn my own money to save up for my future.”
Nicki (trainer) and Jessica, Administrative Assistant
Jobsupport is the leading employment service in Australia for people with intellectual disability
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Jobsupport is a non-profit organisation committed to improving employment outcomes for people with intellectual disability


Jobsupport’s ‘What Works?’ initiative includes:

– Commissioning research to identify what works
– Encouraging an informed choice between DES and SLES services by providing employment outcomes data in a user-friendly format
– Working with Virginia Commonwealth University to provide online training courses about ‘What Works?’ in achieving employment outcomes for people with intellectual disability 

Evidence-based Practice Research

Jobsupport defines ‘evidence-based practice’ as service practices that results in measurably greater outcomes when compared to alternate practices. 

Jobsupport commissioned the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (Virginia Commonwealth University) and the Center for Disability Studies (University of Sydney) to conduct a review of the available evidence-based best practice in achieving open employment for people with intellectual disability.

Copies of the two reports are available in the links below. It is important to note that Open Employment is termed ‘Supported Employment overseas. The Evaluation of the Moderate Intellectual Disability Loading report is the only Australian report that is focussed specifically on Moderate Intellectual Disability, and is available in the buttons below:



Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Training Course

This course is not currently running. A series of video presentations are being produced and more information on this will be published once available.


Informed Choice Information Sessions

Peter De Natris runs information sessions for school leavers with intellectual disability, their families and teachers each year. The purpose of these information sessions is to assist school leavers in making an informed choice between services. Due to the impact of Covid19, these sessions were not run in 2020. 

Peter’s 2023 presentation can be viewed here.

DES Service Outcomes

The Disability Employment Service (DES) publishes employment outcomes by type of disability. The ‘Searchable Outcomes’ spreadsheet is available below, and allows for searches by type of disability and locality.

Most recent Intellectual Disability Service Outcomes SydneyMelbourne | Brisbane

June 2023 Searchable Outcomes by Type of Disability
Dec 2017 Searchable Outcomes by Type of Disability

The original DES data is linked here → Outcomes


School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES)

The NDIS publishes Australia-wide SLES employment outcomes by provider. 

Most recent SLES Service Outcomes:

June 2023 NDIS Outcomes by Provider (Excel)
June 2023 NDIS Outcomes by Provider (PDF)

The number of SLES participants according to disability (July 2022 – June 2023): Autism (57%), Intellectual Disability (33%), Down Syndrome (3%), Cerebral Palsy (2%), Other (5%). (NDIS Provider Quarterly Report – School Leaver Employment Report July 2022 – June 2023).

The original NDIS SLES outcome data and quarterly report is linked here Outcomes


Historical TTW Service Outcomes

The NSW Transition To Work (TTW) program ran from 2002 and was replaced by the NDIS School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) initiative. 

The NSW Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) published the employment outcomes for every service. The final data was published in 2016 for 2013 school leavers. A TTW program ran for 2 years (with a possible 6 month extension). Outcomes were published 2.5 years after each school leaver year. These reported outcomes are for all service participants, and are not provided by type of disability. The ADHC TTW 2009 evaluation reported that 62.3% of all participants had an intellectual disability and 7.6% autism. The original ADHC data is no longer published, but can be found in the following links (each report has subsets of data per local region):

Transition to Work Outcomes Summary 2004 – 2013

The original Transition to Work Outcome data is available in these links: 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013