The stories behind the numbers


We know that meaningful, stable and high-quality employment has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and can increase participation in the community. Our research, though, has found that people with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, not in the labour force and underemployed than people without disabilities. We have published our research findings in high-impact academic journals and traditional media. However, these have limited reach and the data can be difficult to understand. This project aims to communicate these inequities in a direct, engaging and accessible series of ten short documentaries. They will feature people of different ages and impairment types describing their experience of looking for work, securing a job and issues they face in the workplace. The videos will be embedded online alongside our results to bring our findings to life and to illustrate their lived experience.

Telling the stories behind the data and personalising the statistics will make the findings more coherent and relatable.

The aims of the project are to:

  1. Raise awareness of the nature and size of the employment inequities faced by people with disabilities;
  2. Facilitate policy discussions by bringing fresh insight to complex social challenges such as the disability pay gap;
  3. Challenge general assumptions (and attitudes) about the employment status, income and employment characteristics of people with disabilities;
  4. Establish ongoing relationships and a voice to the wider community, giving relevance and meaning to our research findings.

Research Team

Ms Vas Kasidis, University of Melbourne
Ms Zoe Aitken, University of Melbourne
Dr George Disney, University of Melbourne
Ms Mellissa Kavenagh, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Allison Milner, University of Melbourne 
Professor Anne Kavanagh, University of Melbourne

Funding
Engagement grant, University of Melbourne 2019