2022/23 Special Issue: Recognising and Reconceptualising Ability: Reflections on Disability and Employ-Ability


In this special issue of JTLGE we invite submissions focussing on topics related to the intersections of disability and employability, particularly those that include the lived experience of navigating graduate employment settings. We define disability as extending to students with learning, physical or sensory disabilities, as well as mental health, neurodivergent and/or chronic medical conditions (including long COVID). Topics can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Policy or literature reviews (e.g., meta-analysis, systematic literature review) on inclusive and accessible approaches to higher education participation, success and employability for students with a disability;
  • Critical explorations of how students with a disability and/or careers staff navigate the stratification imposed by higher education policy, institutional practices or embedded expectations in relation to graduate employment;
  • Approaches to work-integrated learning (WIL) that foreground ‘Ability’ across this student cohort and thereby assist in graduate success;
  • Responses to policy or existing interventions that contribute critical perspectives on embedding ‘Ability’ across university employment services;
  • Employer perspectives on recruiting and hiring students with a disability or supporting their WIL experiences;
  • Challenges and solutions to students with a disability developing their employability through career development learning; and
  • Specific interventions or case studies relating to students with a disability and employability – however case studies must strongly link to existing literature and be explicit about unique contribution to the field.

In addition to full articles, we invite students with a disability from all course levels and disciplines to submit a short (~1000 words) PROVOCATION to this special edition. Subject to peer review, these provocations are intended to showcase innovative student-led ideas on how disabilities and employability can be better supported at university. Provocations can be co-authored between students and staff.

All submissions are expected to align to JTLGE guidelines, please refer to: https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/jtlge/about/submissions


A note on our title: For this special issue we have chosen to write our disability with no hyphen or slash. We acknowledge however that there is discussion on how to write-out disability, and some prefer dis/Ability or Dis-Ability. Authors are free to decide how they would like to write the term(s) and we welcome commentary or reflection on this topic.

We encourage whenever possible for authors to also refer to the Univerisal Design for Learning framework to ground their work across guidelines, accessible at: https://udlguidelines.cast.org

Important dates: To be considered, please first submit a 600-800 extended abstract for consideration by August 26th 2022. Please email to mollie.dollinger@deakin.edu.au. Full papers will be due by January 16th, 2023 with the goal to publish August/September 2023.  

The Special Issue Editors are Dr Mollie Dollinger1  Dr Olivia Groves2  and Prof Sarah O’Shea2.  Please feel free to contact them if you have any queries about this Special Issue.

1. Deakin University  2. Curtin University



ABS. (2019). Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/disability/disability-ageing-and-carers-australia-summary-findings/latest-release

Eckstein, D. (2022). Meaningful jobs for students with disability from luck to business as usual: Equity Fellowship Report. Perth: National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Curtin University.

Kilpatrick, S., Johns, S., Barnes, R., Fischer, S., McLennan, D., & Magnussen, K. (2017). Exploring the retention and success of students with disability in Australian higher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 21(7), 747-762.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2016.1251980

NCSEHE. (2020). National Dashboard. National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education. Retrieved 19/03/22 from https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/national-data/

Pitman, T. (2022). Supporting persons with disabilities to succeed in higher education: Final report.Research Fellowship final report, Perth: National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Curtin University.

QILT. (2020). Graduate Outcomes Survey National Tables. Retrieved from: https://www.qilt.edu.au/docs/default-source/gos-reports/2020gos/gos-2020-national-tables.xlsx?sfvrsn=a62bec3c_2