Survey Finds Most With Special Needs 'Striving To Work' - Disability Scoop

Survey Finds Most With Special Needs 'Striving To Work' - Disability Scoop

A new, national survey finds that the majority of people with disabilities want to be employed, but they often encounter barriers to work.

Overall, nearly 43 percent of individuals surveyed said they were
currently working. Another 25 percent said they’d been previously
employed and a handful of people said they hadn’t worked but were
looking for a job.

Collectively, those behind the research said the figures show that
nearly 69 percent of those with disabilities are “striving to work.”

The findings come from a telephone poll of more than 3,000 adults
with disabilities across the country conducted by the University of New
Hampshire for the Kessler Foundation, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that
focuses on neurological disabilities.

For the survey, pollsters random-dialed over 117,000 landline and
cellphone numbers across the country between October 2014 and April 2015
to reach households with at least one adult with a disability. In most
cases, the individuals themselves were interviewed, but in 18 percent a
proxy answered questions on behalf of a person with special needs.

People surveyed cited several barriers to obtaining employment
including transportation, lack of proper education or training and
assumptions from employers about their inability to perform the job.

What’s more, the findings suggest that obstacles persist for
individuals who are employed, with lower pay than others doing similar
work and negative attitudes from supervisors and coworkers cited as
issues on the job.

“This clearly demonstrates that people with disabilities are ready
and able to contribute their talents in the workforce,” said Rodger
DeRose, who heads the Kessler Foundation. “Efforts need to focus on
improving self-advocacy, supporting family members and friends in job
search efforts and educating coworkers and supervisors.”


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