Hiring Adults with Disabilities

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According to the American Community Survey, only 35 percent of adults with disabilities were employed in 2015. Many factors contribute to this low employment rate, and the following studies are a handful within the WSS collection that explore the topic. These resources examine workforce challenges experienced by adults with disabilities; and highlight earnings discrepancies by educational attainment, labor market participation, and employment participation rates across disability types.

An Uneven Playing Field: The Lack of Equal Pay for People With Disabilities. 2014. This report examines income disparities by educational attainment among people with and without disabilities. The authors found the income gap grows as the education level rises, with the greatest disparities occurring among those with a master’s degree and higher. Using this information, the authors examine the economic effects of this earnings difference at the state and federal levels as well as strategies for closing the earnings gap.

One Size Does Not Fit All: A New Look at the Labor Force Participation of People with Disabilities. 2015. This report examines the labor market participation rates among individuals with different types of disabilities. In recent years, federal policies have been enacted to support employment opportunities and remove barriers among workers with disabilities; however, the authors of this report note such legislation treats the disabled population as a homogenous group. Looking at outcomes at both state and national levels, the authors used American Community Survey data to analyze and identify significant variations in participation rates by disability type. 

National Snapshot of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the Labor Force. 2013. This study analyzes employment participation data, including under- and unemployment rates, of adults with intellectual disabilities. Using a phone survey, the authors gathered information from a “nationally representative random sample of 1,017 parents/guardians of adult children (21 years of age or older) with an intellectual disability.” The study considers whether individuals are employed in a “sheltered setting” designed specifically for those with intellectual disabilities versus employed through competitive means in the general labor market, and identifies the fields of employment for those competitively employed.

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Content Type: Announcement
Target Populations: Disabilities, persons with


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Posted: 2/27/2017 3:34 PM
Posted In: Workforce System Strategies
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