Economic Inclusion and Empowerment of People with Disabilities

January 4, 2023
Researchers: Peter Blanck, Fitore Hyseni, and Nanette Goodman
University Affiliate: Syracuse University
Full Publication: Economic Inclusion and Empowerment of People with Disabilities. In: Rioux, M.H., Viera, J., Buettgen, A., Zubrow, E. (eds) Handbook of Disability. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-1278-7_81-1.

People with disabilities continue to face extreme disparities in economic inclusion. They have lower employment rates, earn significantly less, are more likely to engage in precarious work, report barriers to receiving workplace accommodations, avoid disclosure of invisible and stigmatized identities, and are more likely to report discrimination than their non-marginalized counterparts. These challenges are heightened by and interrelated with other inequalities that marginalized populations experience such as higher rates of poverty and lack of access to education, housing, transportation, medical care, banking, and food. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the employment disparities between people with and without disabilities and within the non-monolithic disability community. Many people with disabilities experienced job losses, lower earnings, and challenges getting access to adequate social support. This chapter discusses barriers to economic inclusion of people with disabilities. In particular, it focuses on employment and financial inclusion as two key markers of larger economic empowerment. In helping to illuminate the many complex issues faced in the employment of persons with disabilities, this chapter aims to identify new and promising means to address barriers faced by people with disabilities. With increased partnership and collaboration, with the disability community leading this effort, the public and private sectors must seek to address the employment of persons with disabilities, which affects millions in the United States and around the world.

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