This project is a comparative analysis of labour market exclusion of people with disability in Australia and China. The research question is, What prevents people with disability in Australia and China from gaining employment in the digital age? It is background research to test the hypothesis that people excluded from paid work and formal economy are more likely to take up new opportunities in the informal sector and increase economic participation in the digital economy. 

The project:

  • Used secondary datasets that will reveal the patterns of greatest exclusion by location and intersectionality.
  • Included a systematic literature review in English and Chinese about the link between the barriers to the employment of people with disability and the ways digital employment may address them. 
  • Also prioritised datasets including national statistics, household survey and census data in Australia and China. 
  • Included a workshop in Sydney with collaborators from China and Australia to establish the analytical framework and modelling. 

The project is in partnership with People with Disability Australia, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Prof. Xiaoyi Zhang and her collaboration with the Disabled Persons’ Federation). The research is co-designed with the DPOs and people with disability and families through the UNSW Community Reference Panel.

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area

Disability | Chinese Social Policy

  • Li, B, Fisher, KR, Quan Farrant, F, Cheng, Z, (2020). Digital policy to disability employment? An ecosystem perspective on China and Australia, Social Policy & Administration, DOI:10.1111/spol.12666
  • Frances Quan Farrant, People with Disability Australia
  • Prof Xiaoyi Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Disability Innovation Institute UNSW

Related people

Director of the Chinese Social Policy Stream Bingqin Li
Director of the Chinese Social Policy Stream
Scientia Associate Professor of Economics Zhiming Cheng
Scientia Associate Professor of Economics