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It is estimated that the unemployment rate among people with disabilities is around 65-70% making people with disabilities the largest unemployed minority. The benefits of work have been demonstrated. Work provides a sense of pride, identity and personal achievement, it challenges the employee to grow and develop themselves, it promotes social contacts, and it provides financial rewards. The employment of people with disabilities remains one of the biggest unaddressed policy challenges worldwide. Part of the problem is the stigma associated with disability, but there are many other factors including inaccessible work environments, employers’ unwillingness to provide needed accommodations, and a lack of access to vocational counseling to assist job-seekers with appropriate job selection.
This talk will review the current employment landscape, explore effective policies that help get people with disabilities working, and offer thoughts on the future of employment for students who will enter the workforce in the coming years.