National Disability Awareness Month

Celebrating National Disability Awareness Month and California Disability History Week
College to Work: Postsecondary Students and Graduates in the Workforce

Peter J. Shields Lobby
Fall Quarter 2012

Photo of exhibit in library display case
(Photo of exhibit in library display case. Click the image to see a list of exhibits.)

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consistently shows that employment rates for individuals with disabilities are much lower than those of persons without disabilities, and declining.

The Labor Force Characteristics Summary for 2011 shows an employment rate for individuals with disabilities that is only 28% of the rate for those without disabilities, down from 29% the year before.

The good news: Persons with a disability who had completed higher levels of education were more likely to be employed in 2011 than those with less education.

In addition to postsecondary education, key factors that help young adults with disabilities achieve stable long-term employment include:

  • participation in work experience (i.e. paid or unpaid internships, student or other employment)
  • transition services and supports, including individualized services mentorship
  • personal attributes such as motivation, coping skills, and self-efficacy

Source: "Waging a Living: Career Development and Long- Term Employment Outcomes for Young Adults With Disabilities," Lindstrom, L.; Doren, B.; &Miesch, J., Exceptional Children, Vol. 77 No. 4 Pages 423-434 (Summer 2011).