2023 Research Award

‘Understanding the lived experiences of Autistic jobseekers and Autistic employees accessing Disability Employment Services providers in Southeast Queensland: Breaking down barriers and leveraging enablers.’

Lead researcher Co-investigators Grant amount
Dr Miriam Moeller Dr Dana Ott, University of Otago (New Zealand)
Dr Emily R Russo, University of Queensland

Autistic individuals can bring organisations innovative thinking, alternative perspectives, creativity, and attention to detail, but they are three times more likely to be unemployed than those with other disabilities and seven times more likely than people without a disability. While Disability Employment Services (DES) providers aim to assist Autistic jobseekers and Autistic employees to gain and maintain meaningful employment, the specific barriers and enablers to successful long-term employment remain unclear and ambiguous.

Led by The University of Queensland, a team of neurodiverse researchers will utilise a multi-stakeholder approach to explore the lived experiences of Autistic jobseekers and Autistic employees engaging with DES providers and their employers in Southeast Queensland. The research aims to reduce the un- and under-employment of Autistic people by identifying the barriers and enablers to their successful employment. We will elicit perspectives from 50 participants, including those of Autistic jobseekers, Autistic employees, DES providers, and organisations through interviews and focus groups to gain a holistic understanding of Autistic individuals’ experiences. Insights will be collated into an Autism Employment Playbook to communicate our findings and recommendations and will also be disseminated across stakeholder Roundtable and Forum & Networking events.