Report Offers Ideas for Boosting Employment for People With Disabilities

By: - December 12, 2016 12:00 am

Two workers prepare paper for shredding at a center that provides workforce training for people with disabilities in Springfield, Illinois. A new report lays out policy options for states that want to raise employment rates for people with disabilities.

© The Associated Press

There’s a lot states can do to draw more people with disabilities into the workforce, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments.

Only a third of some 20 million working-age Americans with a disability are employed, although many more want to work. 

Recruiting underemployed workers has become particularly important in states with low unemployment rates and slow workforce growth. A recent article from the Minneapolis Fed’s magazine chronicled the “warm body issue” the upper Midwest is facing and steps employers are taking to address it, from introducing flexible schedules to offering free transportation to work.

The new report from NCSL and CSG identifies many steps state governments can take to help boost employment of people with disabilities, including becoming “model employers” of people with disabilities themselves, better coordinating services across state agencies, improving skill development and job training options, and making sure transportation is widely available.

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Sophie Quinton

Sophie Quinton writes about fiscal and economic policy for Stateline. Previously, she wrote for National Journal.