Digital policy to disability employment? An ecosystem perspective on China and Australia

Bingqin Li*, Karen R. Fisher, Frances Quan Farrant, Zhiming Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Globally, labour markets are encountering profound changes because of the digital revolution. Middle-income countries such as China are leapfrogging high-income countries to take advantage of the digital economy. The growing use of digital technologies is also reshaping the labour market in high-income countries such as Australia. Potentially, new technologies may facilitate both employers and employees to overcome some of the barriers to disability employment. However, it seems that the opportunities and hopes have not yet translated into improved employment rate for people with disability. This paper uses an ecosystem framework to examine the state's role in improving the critical elements of disability employment: developing a national strategy, creating employment opportunities, building capacity and enhancing accessibility. This paper compares the historical development of disability employment and the policies introduced to take advantage of digital technologies across China and Australia. It studies the national policies, funded activities and the governing structure in China and Australia. The findings revealed distinctive approaches that have played to the strengths of each country. However, both countries need to address the weaker links to deliver a real paradigm shift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-878
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number5
Early online date11 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • China
  • digital technology
  • disability employment
  • ecosystem


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