October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Illinois Department of Human Services Celebrates

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is: The theme for NDEAM 2021, "America's Recovery: Powered by Inclusion," reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.".

Powered by Inclusion Logo

National Disability Employment Awareness Month: Video : DOL

Presidential Proclamation

2021 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Poster

Job Accommodation Network's Multimedia Training Microsite

JAN Network Logo

The Job Accommodation Network's Multimedia Training Microsite provides convenient Just-In-Time Modules for use by employers, educators, nonprofit organizations, and others. These materials may be used in group training or by individuals, and may easily be incorporated into larger training events. Topics include disability awareness, the Americans with Disabilities Act, ergonomics, the interactive process, and more. All include a PowerPoint presentation and a downloadable transcript of the training.

Public Awareness Campaign

Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED)

  • ICED Website - ICED serves state employees with disabilities and state agencies on issues relating to disability

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Success Stories

Jobs Sites for People with Disabilities

2021 Disability Employment Statistics (Ages 16 years and over)

Labor Force Participation

  • People with disabilities: 21.3%
  • People without disabilities: 67.1%

Unemployment Rate

  • People with disabilities: 10.1%
  • People without disabilities: 5.1%

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Disability Statistics

2021 Persons with a Disability Labor Force Characteristics & Employment Facts and Statistics

Department of Labor logo

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics

  • In 2021, 19.1 percent of persons with a disability were employed, up from 17.9 percent in 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. For persons without a disability, 63.7 percent were employed in 2021, up from 61.8 percent in the prior year. The unemployment rates for persons with and without a disability both declined from 2020 to 2021, to 10.1 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively. Data for both groups reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the labor market.
  • Half of all persons with a disability were age 65 and over, nearly three times larger than the share for those with no disability
  • Across all age groups, persons with disabilities were much less likely to be employed than those with no disabilities
  • Across all educational attainment groups, unemployment rates for persons with a disability were higher than those for persons without a disability.
  • In 2021, 29 percent of workers with a disability were employed part time, compared with 16 percent for those with no disability
  • Employed persons with a disability were more likely to be self-employed than those with no disability

Demographic characteristics

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics

  • In 2021, persons with a disability accounted for 11.9 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. Persons with a disability tend to be older than persons with no disability, reflecting the increased incidence of disability with age. In 2021, half of persons with a disability were age 65 and over, compared with 18 percent of those with no disability. Overall, women were somewhat more likely to have a disability than men, partly reflecting the greater life expectancy of women. In 2021, the prevalence of disability continued to be higher for Blacks and Whites than for Hispanics and Asians.

Employment

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics

  • The employment-population ratio--that is, the percent of the population that is employed-- for persons with a disability increased by 1.2 percentage points from the prior year to 19.1 percent in 2021. This was nearly the same ratio as in 2019 (19.3 percent), before the impact of the pandemic. The ratio for those without a disability, at 63.7 percent in 2021, increased by 1.9 percentage points over the year but was 2.6 percentage points lower than in 2019. The lower ratio among persons with a disability reflects, in part, the older age profile of persons with a disability; older workers are less likely to be employed, regardless of disability status. However, across all age groups, persons with a disability were much less likely to be employed than those with no disability.
  • In 2021, the employment-population ratio for persons with a disability ages 16 to 64 increased to 31.4 percent, while the ratio for persons without a disability in the same age group increased to 72.5 percent. The ratios for persons age 65 and over with a disability (6.9 percent) and without a disability (22.3 percent) showed little or no change from the prior year.
  • Persons with a disability were less likely to have completed a bachelor's degree and higher than those with no disability. Among both groups, those who had attained higher levels of education were more likely to be employed than those who had attained less education. Across all levels of education in 2021, persons with a disability were much less likely to be employed than were their counterparts with no disability. (Educational attainment data are presented for those age 25 and over.)
  • Workers with a disability were more likely to be employed part time than those with no disability. Among workers with a disability, 29 percent usually worked part time in 2021, compared with 16 percent of those without a disability. The proportion of workers with a disability who worked part time for economic reasons was higher than their counterparts without a disability (4 percent, compared with 3 percent). These individuals were working part time because their hours had been reduced or because they were not able to find a full-time job.
  • In 2021, persons with a disability were more likely to work in service occupations than those with no disability (18.2 percent, compared with 15.9 percent). Workers with a disability were also more likely than those with no disability to work in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (14.6 percent, compared with 12.6 percent) and sales and office occupations (21.4 percent, compared with 19.7 percent). Persons with a disability were less likely to work in management, professional, and related occupations than those without a disability (36.5 percent, compared with 42.7 percent).
  • A larger share of workers with a disability were self-employed in 2021 than were those with no disability (9.6 percent versus 6.4 percent). In contrast, a smaller share of workers with a disability were private wage and salary workers (76.5 percent) than were those without a disability (80.0 percent). The proportion of persons employed in government was about the same for both persons with a disability and persons without a disability (13.9 percent and 13.6 percent, respectively).

Unemployment

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics

  • The unemployment rate for persons with a disability, at 10.1 percent in 2021, decreased by 2.5 percentage points from the previous year but remains higher than in 2019 (7.3 percent). The jobless rate for those with a disability was about twice as high as the rate for those without a disability. (Unemployed persons are those who did not have a job, were available for work, and were actively looking for a job in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.) The unemployment rate for persons without a disability decreased by 2.8 percentage points to 5.1 percent in 2021.
  • At 10.1 percent in 2021, the unemployment rate for men with a disability was the same as for women with a disability. The unemployment rates for both men and women with a disability decreased from 2020 to 2021; however, both remain above their 2019 rates.In 2018, the unemployment rate for men with a disability (7.9 percent) was about the same as the rate for women (8.1 percent). The unemployment rates for both men and women declined from 2017 to 2018. Jobless rates declined among Whites and Blacks with a disability in 2018, while the rates for Hispanics and Asians showed little change. For persons with a disability, Blacks (11.2 percent) and Hispanics (9.8 percent) had higher unemployment rates than Whites (7.3 percent), and Asians (7.1 percent) in 2018.
  • Among persons with a disability, the jobless rates for Blacks (15.1 percent) and Hispanics (13.3 percent) were higher than the rates for Whites (9.3 percent) and Asians (8.5 percent) in 2021. The rates for Whites, Asians, and Hispanics decreased from 2020 to 2021, while the rate for Blacks showed little change.

Not in the labor force

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics

  • Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force. A large proportion of persons with a disability--about 8 in 10--were not in the labor force in 2021, compared with about 3 in 10 of those with no disability. In part, this reflects the older age profile of persons with a disability; persons age 65 and over are much less likely to participate in the labor force than younger age groups. Across all age groups, however, persons with a disability were more likely to be out of the labor force than those with no disability.
  • For persons with and without a disability, the vast majority of those not in the labor force reported that they do not want a job. In 2021, 3 percent of those with a disability and 7 percent of those without a disability wanted a job. Among those who do want a job, a subset are classified as marginally attached to the labor force. These individuals wanted and were available to work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (Persons marginally attached to the labor force include discouraged workers.) Less than 1 percent of persons with a disability and about 2 percent of persons without a disability were marginally attached to the labor force in 2021.

Other Statistics

  • People with disabilities represent the third largest market segment in the U.S., surpassing Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans, as well as Generation X and teens. Add in their families, friends and associates, and you get a trillion dollars in purchasing power.
    Source: Campaign for Disability Employment
  • Job accommodations for people with disabilities are usually low cost or no cost. A recent study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) revealed that 56 percent of workplace accommodations cost absolutely nothing, Of those accommodations that did have a cost, the typical one-time expenditure by employers was $500. 
    Source: Campaign for Disability Employment

Resources

  • Fighting Discrimination in Employment Under the ADA
    The ADA expands equal employment opportunity and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Through its work to implement the ADA, the Department of Justice is breaking down barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities.
  • Breaking Down Barriers to Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
    In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Civil Rights Division is highlighting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a gateway to equal opportunity in the workplace.
  • Final Report on Best Practices For the Employment of People with Disabilities In State Government
    by The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Assistive Technology Videos: A series of short videos to demonstrate available assistive technology. Videos include screen magnification software, speech recognition software, assistive listening devices, closed circuit televisions, digital pens, embedded technology and others. To view these videos and others, please visit: www.youtube.com/thedodcap
  • CAP App: Stay up to date on new assistive technology, disability events and more on the go! Available for Android and Apple devices
  • CAP Posters: CAP created a series of outreach posters for use at your agency or organizations. They can be located under "Outreach Materials" at www.cap.mil
  • Listserv: Sign up to receive information on a variety of topics including CAPTEC, Telework, CAP initiatives, CAP's support for wounded Service members, and other disability employment resources. Subscribe
  • Online Trainings: A series of online training modules to help federal employers understand how simple and beneficial hiring employees with disabilities can be. Titles include Increasing Federal Employment of People with Disabilities, Providing Reasonable Accommodation Solutions, and Providing Reasonable Accommodations for People with Dexterity Disabilities
  • Quick Tips: A series of short videos to help answer CAP's most frequently asked questions.
  • Ready to Publish Articles: Are you looking to mention CAP in your next newsletter or on your website? We've drafted the articles for you!
  • Social Media: For the latest information, stay connected with CAP on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube