Data from the American Community Survey, and annual survey from the Census Bureau, compiled by Autism Now shows that:
- 68% of people aged 16 to 64 without disabilities work
- 35% of people with any disability aged 16 to 64 work
- 24% of people with cognitive disabilities aged 16 to 64 work. Cognitive disability is a very broad category that includes people who say they have difficulty learning, remembering, or concentrating.
Many issues can affect jobs for people with disabilities. Some are related to the person with the disability and some are related to employers. Examples are:
- though employers admit these barriers, 73% reported their workers with disabilities did not require accommodations to perform their job responsibilities; and
- for those workers with disabilities that did require accommodation, the cost of the accommodation averaged only $500.
Other reasons for low employment, according to the Urban Institute, include:
- Type and severity of disability and person’s appearance
- Age, education, degree of disability
- Job market changes
- Use of assistive technology and work accommodations
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Employer attitude and practices including cost of accommodation
- Can person with disability do the job? Will he or she need more training?
- Will accommodations cost a lot of money?
- How will co-workers react to person with disability?
Other reasons for low employment may be:
- No jobs available a person can do
- Family responsibility
- No or limited transportation
- Limited training
- Fear of losing benefits
- Family and friends don’t think person can or should work
Disability Statistics has state by state information on employment rates, number of people with disabilities actively looking for work and types of employment, for example. Search for information in Massachusetts
US Department of Labor Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary is a report, from 2014, on employment and people with disabilities in the workforce. This report includes industry, types of jobs, disability status, age, sex and other characteristics.
Annual Disability Statistics Compendium has statistics on monthly and annual employment participation and full-time, year-round employment in the United States.