ADA brings little progress in the workplace

Reporting at MSNBC, Eve Tahmincioglu says Americans with disabilities still face overwhelming barriers to employment two decades after the enactment of the ADA. A recent Harris Survey of working-aged people with disabilities found that only 21 percent were employed either full or part-time, compared with 59 percent of people without disabilities.

The study, commissioned by the National Organization on Disability and theKessler Foundation, said 73 percent of those without jobs cited their disability as the reason they were unemployed. The survey also found that people with disabilities are twice as likely as people without disabilities to have annual household incomes of $15,000 or less.

“There have been great improvements because of the ADA, but discrimination in the workplace is still at an unacceptable level,” said Rodger DeRose, CEO of the Kessler Foundation.

… Without job opportunities, DeRose said, all the accessibility advances for disabled folks — such as ramps and parking spots — that resulted thanks to the Act, won’t truly help the disabled integrate fully into society, both socially and economically.

(With video from the NBC Today Show, featuring NOD board member Bonnie St. John and Alana Wallace, actor in the “Think Beyond the Label” public service campaign.)