NPR Reporter Joseph Shapiro recently wrote about the recession and its impact on people with disabilities. Whether people with disabilities are laid off in higher proportion to non-disabled workers is debatable, but one thing is clear – their struggle to become employed again is more difficult and takes longer.
The article highlights an unemployment rate for working-age people with disabilities that is nearly twice that of non-disabled workers. This does not include the larger number of working-age people with disabilities that have given up looking for work completely. This discrepancy in counts is at the heart of varying statistics reporting unemployment among people with disabilities.
According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, 21 million out of 26 million people with disabilities, or more than 80%, are not even in the labor force. Surveys indicate that the vast majority want to work, but have simply given up trying.
PRIDE Industries is committed to addressing this crisis of unemployment among individuals with disabilities. We are more than 4,000 strong, creating opportunity in our own businesses, by partnering with others in the private and public sector, and by opening doors to community employment through job training and employer education.
To learn more about how you can support our work, please visit PRIDE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity created as a means for individuals, businesses or foundations to join the mission of PRIDE Industries, and participate in helping generate solutions for individuals most often excluded from employment.