Disability Research Publications

The DIEP-RRTC features working papers, employment policy briefs, newsletters, academic articles, presentations, online and in-person training, and technical assistance support for policymakers, business leaders, vocational rehabilitation and employment support professionals, and people with disabilities.

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Current DIEP RRTC Publications

The publications have been developed by the DIEP RRTC staff and partners on various research and topic areas for policymakers, business leaders, vocational rehabilitation and employment support professionals, and people with disabilities.

Peter Blanck, Fitore Hyseni, & Fatma Wise
This article is part of an ongoing body of investigation examining the experiences of lawyers with diverse and multiple minority identities, with particular focus on lawyers with disabilities; lawyers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (“LGBTQ+” as an overarching term); and lawyers with minority identities associated with race and ethnicity, gender, and age. The focus of this article is on discrimination and bias in their workplaces as reported by the lawyers experiencing it.
Nicole A. Maestas, Kathleen J. Mullen, and Stephanie Rennane
Labor force exit due to disability is often preceded by a gradual decline in health. Frequent or increased rates of absence from work or presenteeism (working while sick) could serve as a signal that a worker has begun transitioning out of the labor force. We analyze the relationship between absences, presenteeism and work outcomes using data from the American Working Conditions Survey and the American Life Panel.
Peter Blanck
Blanck discusses his thirty-year journey with the ADA. Blanck emphasizes, his journey "is intertwined, as it is for many, with personal and professional experiences. One foundational aspect of this journey has been how law students like you here today, and practicing lawyers with disabilities, have inspired me as they have sought to vindicate their ADA rights. Many of the cases in which I have acted as an expert on the ADA, or as co-counsel, were piloted by leading lawyers, many of whom happened to have disabilities. Some of them are no longer with us today.
Lisa Schur, Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, & Douglas L. Kruse
This paper studies the disparate effects of COVID-19 on workers with physical and mental disabilities, paying particular attention to an intersectional analysis by disability, race/ethnicity, and gender. Results indicate that White and Black women with disabilities experienced relatively greater employment losses during the pandemic compared to White men without disabilities.
Michael Morris and Nanette Goodman
President Biden’s executive order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities (E.O. 13985) makes it clear that the federal government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who “have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”
Peter Blanck, Fitore Hyseni, & Fatma Wise
Workplace accommodations, vital for employees with disabilities, promote diversity and inclusion efforts in organizations. This article examines who requests accommodations and who is more likely to have requests granted. We investigate the roles of individual characteristics and their intersection, including disability, sexual orientation, gender, race/ethnicity, and age.
Peter Blanck
At the heart of disability antidiscrimination laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) of 1990, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”), and the laws of other countries, lies the requirement that social institutions affirmatively remove attitudinal and structural barriers confronting people with disabilities as they exercise their rights to particulate fully in society. In disability employment antidiscrimination law and policy, perhaps the most important driver of the inclusion command is the “accommodation principle,” which requires that employers make reasonable adjustments to tasks and places of work to enable full and equal participation by qualified individuals with disabilities.
Lisa Schur, Mason Ameri, and Douglas Kruse
The COVID pandemic was a severe blow to all workers, but it may ultimately have a silver lining for some workers with disabilities if it makes work from home easier and more acceptable. In addition, the pandemic is shaking up traditional workplace structures and causing employers to rethink how essential tasks can be done, which may broaden their views of workplace accommodations. We assess the potential for the pandemic to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Paul Harpur and Peter Blanck
This article examines gig work—typified by technologically-based, on-demand, independent contractor arrangements—for people with disabilities.
Nicole A. Maestas
In their PNAS article “Decoding the mystery of American pain reveals a warning for the future,” Case et al. investigate an irregular feature of the relationship between pain and age in present-day America—midlife individuals report higher levels of pain than do the elderly. Ominously, this inverted age–pain profile exists only for individuals without a bachelor’s degree (BA) and in no wealthy country other than America.
Mason Ameri, Sean Rogers, Lisa Schur, and Douglas Kruse
We investigate access for people with disabilities to Airbnb rentals using a randomized field experiment of 3,847 lodging requests. We find that hosts were less likely to preapprove requests from travelers with blindness, cerebral palsy, dwarfism, or spinal cord injury than to approve travelers without disabilities.
American Association of People with Disabilities & Disability:IN
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a prominent benchmarking tool for the Fortune 1000 and America’s top 200 revenue grossing law firms (Am Law 200) to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion against competitors.
Nanette Goodman and Michael Morris
The report finds that, in the 29 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, ensuring all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve “economic self-sufficiency,” this population still faces numerous financial hurdles and roadblocks to financial inclusion. Based on data mined from the 2017 FDIC National Survey on Unbanked and Underbanked Households, this insightful report highlights the financial choices and banking habits of adults with disabilities.
Douglas Kruse, Lisa Schur, Sean Rogers, and Mason Ameri
We analyze competing explanations for the lower pay of employees with disabilities, using 2008–2014 data from the American Community Survey matched to O*Net data on occupational job requirements.
Nanette Goodman, Nick Canfield, and Michael Morris
Americans with disabilities face significant barriers to financial wellness. They are less likely than those without disabilities to be employed, and more likely to have low incomes, have difficulty making ends meet, have past due medical bills, lack access to emergency funds, use non-bank borrowing methods and have a lower level of financial knowledge. These findings—described in detail in Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities, a 2017 report by National Disability Institute (NDI) based on the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study—identify challenges to financial well-being for people with disabilities that go above and beyond the challenges faced by others with similar incomes.
Nanette Goodman, Bonnie O’Day, and Michael Morris
This report analyzes data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) to reveal the most comprehensive picture to date of how people with disabilities manage financial resources and make financial decisions.

Articles of Interest

The articles of interest have been identified by the DIEP RRTC staff and partners as important information on employment topic areas for policymakers, business leaders, vocational rehabilitation and employment support professionals, and people with disabilities.

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