Thursday, March 8, 2018
Shared from M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC’s blog,

Employment for individuals with disabilities is a very important issue. Employment can be crucial for psychological health, and is also be beneficial in aiding socialization, integration, and the development of skills. It is also true that for most individuals, employment is necessary to achieve and maintain financial independence.

At M&L, we work with many individuals with disabilities as they prepare for, look for, and secure employment. We know – from first hand experience – that this demographic is often overlooked by employers, and, as a result, these individuals are underemployed and underpaid. Reasons for this underemployment and lack of compensation are many: lack of access to education means individuals with disabilities are underqualified, they have to overcome employer attitudes/stigmas around disability, and, in some cases, there are physical barriers to overcome as well. Often, something as simple as a lack of reliable transportation can mean that individuals with disabilities are kept out of the job market.

There is, however, good news on the horizon. Despite all these challenges, recent reports have shown that employment for individuals with disabilities is on the rise. In fact, the December 2017 Jobs Report states that at the end of 2017, disability employment was on a 21-month upwards trend.

Recent employment statistics, as released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirm these findings. In a table titled “Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status, not seasonally adjusted”, it was shown that the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities was 8.8% in January of 2018, down from the 11% rate that was posted in January of 2017. On the whole, the participation rate for individuals in 2018 was 20.4%, up from 19.5% in 2017. Note: The participation rate is the measure of the active portion of an economy’s labor force – the number of people that are either employed or actively looking for work.

Experts[i] credit this rise in employment rates to number of different factors, including:

  • A lower unemployment rate across the board means that fewer people are available to fill jobs, forcing employers to consider demographics that may not have typically considered before.
  • Diversity advocates and campaigns are succeeding in convincing employers that individuals with disabilities have skill sets that bring value to their workplace.
  • Obama’s 2103 Labor Board provision that requires all federal contractors try to fill 7% of their workforce with individuals with disabilities.

As written in a story on
Through successful public-private partnerships, people with disabilities are finding competitive jobs in today’s job market. With funding from philanthropic organizations and private foundations, partnerships are being established that integrate recruitment, hiring, training, placement and support, toward the goal of connecting qualified candidates with job openings in government and private industry[ii].

Would you Like More information?

Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog today. We hope that this incredible news about the upwards trend in disability employment inspires you to begin your job search today.

If you would like to learn more about employment for individuals with disabilities – either as an individual with a disability, a family member, friend or advocate – please do not hesitate to contact us. We are very experienced in helping individuals with disabilities with their employment concerns, as well as helping these individuals navigate the financial implications of being employed.

In fact, M&L owner and founder Maedi Tanham Carney is a Certified Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC), a certification that acknowledges Maedi’s wealth of knowledge in understanding the complexities of Social Security Benefits. This certification provides her with the knowledge and experience to be able to work in-depth with individuals with disabilities who are working or want to go to work but have questions about their benefits and/or insurance eligibility.

Here at M&L, we would love the opportunity to share with you our knowledge and resources on disability employment. Please take this opportunity to browse our employment blog archive and visit our employment resources page – we have compiled a wealth of information specifically to help individuals with disabilities overcome employment barriers, and live full, productive, integrated and financially secure lives.



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