People with disabilities are one of the most under-employed populations in the United
States. According to the Cornell University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on
Disability Demographics only 36.9% of people with disabilities in the United States aged 21 to
64 were employed in 2007, 42.8% lower than people without disabilities employed at a rate of
79.7% (Erickson & Lee, 2008, p. 24). People with intellectual disabilities were employed at an
even lower rate, 26.8% in 2006 (Institue for Community Inclusion, 2008). Though surveys vary
in how they define disability or employment (Field & Jette, 2007), survey data consistently
shows employment rates significantly lower than the non-disabled population. Many studies
have even shown a decline in employment rates of people with disabilities since the passage of
civil rights legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 (DeLiere, 2000; Acemoglu &
Angrist, 2001; Kruse & Schur, 2003; Beegle & Stock, 2003; Houtenville & Burkhauser, 2004;
Moon & Shin, 2006). Some of the reasons for this decline include Fears among employers at the
cost of empoying people with disabilities, fear of people with disabilities themselves of losing
health care and other public benefits.
Myhre, Stacy. Employment Policy for People with Developmental Disabilities: Practice in Washington and Minnesota. May 6 2009. May 27 2009. Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
professional paper in partial fulfillment of the Master of Public Policy degree requirement
Employment Policy for People with Developmental Disabilities: Practice in Washington and Minnesota.
Hubert H Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
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