View DIEP RESEARCH BRIEF: Telework After COVID: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers with Disabilities
View Press release: Telework After COVID: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers with Disabilities
DIEP RRTC research reveals that the pandemic-induced shift to remote work has exposed inequities and created opportunities for workers with disabilities. The Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (DIEP RRTC) has released a research brief, “Telework After COVID: Challenges and Opportunities for Workers with Disabilities.” The brief outlines the benefits and drawbacks of remote work for people with disabilities, with the hopes of influencing policy in individual workplaces and on local, state and federal levels, blending together three previous DIEP RRTC publications, from the Disability and Health Journal, the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, and the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.
These studies suggest that expanded acceptance of telework can foster financial stability for people with disabilities and prospective employees with disabilities experience more favorable employment outcomes when labor markets are competitive. This is especially applicable to people who have difficulty with self-care, mobility impairments or difficulty with going outside alone.
The pandemic resulted in both greater acceptance of remote work and tighter labor markets. However, the benefits people with disabilities have reaped are limited by occupational distribution. Findings show that workers with disabilities are concentrated in blue-collar jobs that require physical presence and are often lower paying and less stable, jobs that are often less conducive to remote work arrangements.
34 percent of workers with disabilities can do their jobs remotely, compared to 40 percent of people without disabilities. As a likely consequence, during the pandemic, workers with disabilities were more likely to lose their jobs, less likely to receive pay while out of work, and more likely to have difficulty accessing medical assistance.
ABOUT THE DISABILITY-INCLUSIVE EMPLOYMENT POLICY REHABILITATION RESEARCH AND TRAINING CENTER (DIEP RRTC)
The Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (DIEP RRTC) is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR, grant #90RTEM0006-01-00) in the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services. Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, Harvard Medical School, and Rutgers University are partnering to design and implement a series of studies that produce new data and evidence on DIEP policy to increase employment rates and outcomes for persons with disabilities.
The research will examine federal, regional, state, and private industry policies and programs to identify critical outcomes and impacts that improve employment entry options, better wage and income levels, worker retention and job quality and benefits, career growth and paths to economic stability, employment reengagement in the event of job loss and reduced dependence on Social Security disability benefits. Learn more at: disabilityinclusiveemployment.org.
ABOUT BURTON BLATT INSTITUTE
The Burton Blatt Institute (“BBI”) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. Through program development, research, and public policy guidance, BBI advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar. BBI has offices in Syracuse, NY; Washington, DC; New York City, NY; and Lexington, KY. Learn more at: bbi.syr.edu
The contents of this announcement were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant # 90RTEM0006). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
The information, materials, and/or technical assistance provided by the Disability Inclusive Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research and Training Center are intended solely as informal guidance, and are neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under the Act, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility under the ADA. The Disability Inclusive Employment Policy Rehabilitation Research and Training Center does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein.