Study: Americans with Disabilities Want to Work, are Working

Americans with disabilities endeavor to find employment and are successful in overcoming obstacles in the workplace, according to the 2015 Kessler Foundation National Employment and Disability Survey, the first nationally representative survey to examine the work experiences of adult Americans with disabilities.  Approximately 68 percent of respondents indicated they were looking for work, have worked, or were currently employed since the onset of disability. Persons currently working averaged 35.5 hours a week, and over half (60.7 percent) worked 40+ hours a week.  The majority of those not employed (but looking for work) were actively preparing to enter the workforce in optimum condition by receiving medical treatment and rehabilitation (72.7 percent).

Additional findings:

  • Most respondents (86.6 percent) reported feeling accepted at their places of employment.
  • Over half of those surveyed (68.4 percent) reported that their workplaces provided most or all of the supports or accommodations they needed. The most requested accommodation was schedule flexibility (28.4 percent).
  • Challenges for those employed included receiving less pay than others in a similar position (16.5 percent) and management attitudes (15.7 percent).  At least one-third of respondents reported overcoming one of these obstacles (38.6 percent for pay disparity and 41.3 percent for supervisor attitude).

The complete report, including video of the presentation of findings on Capitol Hill, is available at the Kessler Foundation website.





Report Citation: Kessler Foundation (2015). The Kessler Foundation 2015 National Employment and Disability Survey: Report of Main Findings. West Orange, NJ.

Pre-K Data Resource a Step Forward (but….)

Got the comparative analysis blues? Need more or better data?  Well, difficult-to-find data on pre-K programs just got easier to access thanks to a combined effort from the Early Education Initiative and the Federal Education Budget Project (FEBP) of the New America Foundation.  An expansion of the FEBP database added 2007 through 2011 enrollment and funding information on public early education programs at both the state and local levels – including Head Start and federally mandated special education services to young children.

Alex Holt gives an overview of this valuable resource at the Foundation’s website, and discusses the serious deficit in reliable pre-K data reporting in the brief (with Lisa Guernsey) Counting Kids and Tracking Funds: Falling Short at the Local Level.





SAMHSA Roundtable on Recovery and Persons with Disabilities

As part of their Road to Recovery series, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) just posted their August video on the topic of Treatment and Recovery in Behavioral Health for Americans With Disabilities. According to SAMHSA reports, nearly 16 percent of Americans have a disability that impacts their daily lives. Ironically, persons with physical and cognitive disabilities are more likely to have problems with substance use but they are also less likely to get treatment for it than their peers without a disability.

For more videos on behavioral health and special populations visit SAMHSA’s YouTube channel.