Episode 27: Disability Employment

Sorry for the wait! It’s been a long time. How have you been? In this episode, we talk about disability employment. Consider this: People with disabilities as a group have one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States. We discuss this issue, along with whether disability impacts the kind of work you do. A transcript for this episode can be found here. This transcript is due to our generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you.

We genuinely appreciate your patience and we’re happy to finally be back on a normal schedule.

What’s so important about disability employment?

If you aren’t someone with a disability, probably not too much. But if you are, employment is likely something you’ve thought about since you were old enough to work, if not earlier than that. People with disabilities are more than three times likely to be unemployed than nondisabled people overall.

Why is that? There are lots of reasons, but we focus on these two:

  1. Employers tend not to hire us because they see us as potential liabilities and grounds for a lawsuit.
  2. Employers believe that accommodating an employee with a disability costs a huge amount of money.

The first reason is one that theoretically could be true, but in practice it isn’t. Seriously, it’s not really difficult to just adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). And disabled people want to work.

The second reason is completely false. According to a study by JAN and ODEP:

The employers in the study reported that a high percentage (59%) of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to make, while the rest typically cost only $500.

While disability employment might not seem like a huge issue, it is. We didn’t even get a chance to discuss something as horrible as sheltered workshops, for example, but that’s for a different episode on a different day.


Notes from this episode: Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics SummaryAccommodation and Compliance Series Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact

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