The Bureau of Labor Statistics released, in August 2010, new data about the employment and unemployment of people with disabilities. It’s stated that “the proportion of the population employed in 2009 was 19.2 percent among those with a disability. The employment-population ratio for persons without a disability was 64.5 percent. The unemployment rate of persons with a disability was 14.5 percent, higher than the rate for those with no disability, which was 9.0 percent.” The report continues to state that it is more likely for someone with a disability to be employed part-time and in a service industry than those without a disability.
There were also additional findings on how these statistics change with additional education. The report states that “persons with a disability who have completed higher levels of education were more likely to be employed than those with less education. However, at all levels of education, persons with a disability were less than half as likely to be employed than were their counterparts with no disability.”
I also reviewed some data from Cornell University and found that the average income for a family with at least one person identifying with a disability is $39,600, compared to the average household income with no persons identifying with a disability being $61,200. Also, when comparing persons with and without a disability who are living at or below the poverty level the percentages are 25.3% and 9.6%, respectively.
Across the board statistics prove that people with disabilities have a harder time finding employment, especially employment that pays at the same level of those without disabilities. Because of this it is important to have resources available for people with disabilities. Here are just a few.
The Job Accommodation Network The Job Accommodation Network Is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN is one of several ODEP projects. JAN’s mission is to facilitate the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing employers, employment providers, people with disabilities, their family members and other interested parties with information on job accommodations, self-employment and small business opportunities and related subjects.
US Department of Justice You’ll find a section of information on disabilities which includes guides to rights/laws and for people with disabilities seeking employment.
Disability Resources The site is for individuals with disabilities seeking employment, employers who want to know more about hiring people with disabilities, and policymakers.
National Business and Disability Council (NBDC) The NBDC is the leading resource for employers seeking to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace and companies seeking to reach them in the consumer marketplace.
Employment: Disability.gov This is an award-winning federal Web site that contains disability-related resources on programs, services, laws and regulations to help people with disabilities lead full, independent lives. With just a few clicks, visitors can find critical information on a variety of topics, including benefits, civil rights, community life, education, emergency preparedness, employment, housing, health, technology and transportation.
Enable America A nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing employment among the 54 million Americans with disabilities. Their goal is to eliminate barriers to employment and bridge the gap between disabled job seekers and the employers who want to hire them.
Karen is a Career Counselor and Internship Coordinator at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). At IPFW she assists students in finding internships, coordinates and assists with campus-wide events, teaches a Career Planning course, and meets with students to assist them with all aspects of career development. Connect with Karen via LinkedIn or Twitter.